22-year-old hunter risks his life to save 9 koalas from raging bushfires in Victoria

A hunter has returned to his hometown, cut off due to the horrific bush fires, to rescue numerous koalas.

Patrick Boyle defied the blazes and returned to the bush on the outskirts of the Australian town of Mallacoota, because he says that’s “where he likes to be.”

The 22-year-old discovered a koala and took it the Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter. Since then he says he has rescued “eight or nine” koalas.

An image of Patrick holding a rescued koala in a blanket was posted on social media and was quickly shared around the world.

This is Patrick Boyle.Here he is holding one of seven koalas he’s rescued these last few days around Mallacoota…

Posted by ABC Melbourne on Friday, January 3, 2020

“I was trying to think of what I could do and so I went out in the bush, because that’s where I like to be,” Patrick told Today.

“Straight away, found a koala. [A friend] waved me over because he had the first one and he was under the pump … He asked me to look after the little guy and it all started from there.”

Patrick has rescued numerous other koalas since then from the area, which had to be evacuated due to the fires. A naval ship was used to help people escape the threatened town of Mallacoota.

So far all the koalas he’s rescued have survived, Patrick says adding: “Some are just dehydrated and shocked. Others are really burnt and in shock. Others are really burnt and find it hard to drink and eat leaves.”

Patrick said he recognized that given the fact he’s a hunter he’s an unlikely person to rescue wildlife.

“I’m a hunter—I’m one of the last people that others would expect to help these animals,” he told Stuff.co.nz. “Farmers, hunters and workers are the ones out there actually taking action right now.”

It’s thought just under 5 million animals, including around 8,000 koalas have perished in the blazes, according to the Independent.


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