The bushfires sweeping through Australia have taken a major toll on the continent’s wildlife. Half a billion animals have perished in the flames.
It’s been especially dire for the population of koalas, a species already in danger of going extinct. An estimated 25,000 koalas have died this season.
Like this group of teens, who are being hailed as heroes after giving a much-needed lift to some koalas displaced from their habitat.
Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia, is known for its diverse wildlife, including its population of koalas. But over the weekend it fell victim to the bushfires, leaving it a “barren burned land.”
While countless animals died, others survived but were left homeless, thirsty and singed by flames.
But an unlikely pair of heroes stepped up help: teen cousins Micah and Caleb, who drove around in their car picking up koalas.
“We’re doing a little koala rescue,” one of them says in a video posted to YouTube. “Just trying to collect as many live ones as we can.”
There are about eight koalas in the car, including a mother with a child. The teens say she was getting “a bit aggressive” and was put in the trunk.
Micah and Caleb are natives of the island and are able to care for the koalas, but they stressed that it isn’t something most people should do.
A pinned comment on the video stresses that if koalas are taken off the island, even by well-intentioned rescuers, they cannot be brought back due to mainland diseases. Found koalas should be cared for on the island’s local wildlife park.
The video has already earned nearly half a million views on YouTube. Many people praised the teens, offering to help pay for the koala’s care expenses (they instead suggested donations go towards local animal sanctuaries burned down in the fires.)
“Wow, you’re absolutely brilliant for doing this,” one comment reads. “Poor things are completely at our mercy and this is the least we can do.”
Thank you to these teens for helping these koalas! There are so few of them left that it’s important to save every life we can.
With all the heartbreaking news about Australia, it’s always nice to hear something positive. Share this inspiring story!