Friday, February 13, 2009

Amidst Death and Destruction: Wildlife Rescue

Nothing can compensate for the devastating loss of human life and property in the Victorian bushfires. It is also estimated that the loss of wildlife has also been enormous – more than a million marsupials, reptiles, and birds. Their habitat has also been destroyed.

Sam was rescued by CFA firefighter David Tree while he was fighting the fire at Mirboo North. She has since become an international celebrity via video footage and slideshows. The video shows Sam drinking a bottle of water; reports confirm that she drank a total of three bottles of water. This is remarkable since koalas do not normally drink water but obtain moisture from eucalypt leaves and water droplets on the foliage. Sam is recovering at Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Rawson where she has been befriended by a male koala, Bob.

According to reports, Sam is one of 22 koalas, 14 ringtail possums, several wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos that are being cared for in Gippsland.

Another wildlife ‘save’ was a baby sugar glider which was rescued by Yarra Glen CFA firefighter Darren Thompson. We haven’t heard any more about this glider. Hopefully it is recovering also.

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