Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Koala rescued from Australia's wildfire wasteland

By ROHAN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer Rohan Sullivan, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 40 mins ago

SYDNEY – It was a chance encounter in the charred landscape of Australia's deadly wildfires: A koala sips water from a bottle offered by a firefighter.

David Tree noticed the koala moving gingerly on scorched paws as his fire patrol passed. Clearly in pain, the animal stopped when it saw Tree.

"It was amazing, he turned around, sat on his bum and sort of looked at me with (a look) like, put me out of my misery," Tree told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I yelled out for a bottle of water. I unscrewed the bottle, tipped it up on his lips and he just took it naturally.
"He kept reaching for the bottle, almost like a baby."

The team called animal welfare officers to pick up the koala Sunday, the day after deadly firestorms swept southern Victoria state.

The koala was in pain but recovering with antibiotics, Jenny Shaw of the Mountain Ash Wildlife Shelter told Melbourne's The Herald Sun newspaper.

Despite her gender, the now famous koala is nicknamed Sam.


Blogger Chris said...

Sad, but amazing. Reminds me of the old Smokey The Bear story.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Auburn Kat said...

Wow, what a story!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Oh my, I'm crying. I'm in such pain for those people, so tragic.

And the animals, sometimes we forget about our beloved critters.

8:27 PM  
Blogger sage said...

A wonderful story, thanks for sharing it

6:34 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Australian people give the oddest names.

9:22 AM  
Blogger LA said...

That Koala is precious, and those fires are heartwrenching.

10:33 AM  
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