With wildfires ravaging much of New South Wales and North East-Victoria Australia, the critical habitat of native animals has been heavily impacted. Up to a billion animals have been affected by the devastation of these fires. In the last several months, countless Australians have been putting all their efforts into putting a stop to the raging fires, whether they are going to the fire front to push away the incoming flames, or joining in the humanitarian aid and relief efforts for both people and animals in need. Recently, Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister, has called up 3,000 reserve soldiers to help with the firefighting and evacuation operations in Eastern Australia. Like many others, they have been working tirelessly for days and some even weeks. Even though these brave soldiers are given well deserved rest periods, many of them selflessly choose to give up their free time to help their country recover from these brush fires.
The 16th Regiment Emergency Support Force has been recently going viral after a handful of photos of them cuddling and feeding koalas was posted on their Facebook page.
The unit has been lending a helpful hand at the Cleland Wildlife Park providing support during feeding times.
They were also tasked with preparing new on site grounds for the koalas to roam in. This included building special mounts for the koalas, facilitating their climb to the trees where they naturally hide from predators and cool off during hot days.
Captain Garnett Hall, an Australian Army vet who was deployed to the wildlife park says “I think Australia’s native animals, such as koalas, have suffered the most from the bushfires,” explained Hall. “When threatened, their instincts are to climb trees. However, when faced with a fire, this response leads to tragedy. The koalas cannot outrun those flames and, as a result, most that were in the fire-affected areas have died. Some have survived, but they have horrible burns on their hands, feet, and faces.”
The 9th Brigade also sent their vets to the wildlife park to help treat the wounded wildlife. Captain Garnett Hall explains that it is a very grim picture as numerous wildlife are affected by the fires, mostly koalas. They are being treated for burns on their paws and faces, many also have singed fur.
The Brigade’s Facebook post has went viral, garnering over 24,000 reactions with 43,000 shares in just a couple of days. People all over the world are showing their gratitude towards the soldiers.
More info: Australian Army
These koalas sure seem thankful for the help being offered to them. It think they would agree with each and every comment posted above. Aren’t these brave men and women incredible?