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Burned Koalas Need Your Mittens

Posted 1/09/2015 10:45 am by

koala-mitten

Australia is a strange land full of strange creatures and stranger habits.  The continent island is home to some of the most unique animals on planet Earth, but it’s also a dangerous, unforgiving place.  Every year, Australia suffers from wildfires that can run out of control through the wilderness, putting animals at risk.  Among the most at risk are koalas, which aren’t exactly the fastest creatures on the planet and who tend to be the first to get caught in wildfires.  So an Australian animal rescue group has made an unusual request:  make mittens for burned koalas.

“Koalas are one of the worst casualties of bushfires.  On a normal day, they spend about 18 hours asleep in the fork of a tree and even when fully awake, they are slow-moving creatures with a top speed of only 10 kilometres an hour.  In a fast moving fire front, they are often the first to perish.  Injuries to paws, claws, face and ears are common and tiny joeys can often only wait in burning trees, crying for their mothers.  I’ve worked with wildlife rescuers after fires and they tell me about seeing koala babies actually sitting in the trees crying,” writes Josey Sharrad of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW.  “They just sit there and wait to be rescued. If their paws are burned, they can’t grip and are at risk of falling out of the tree and while koalas can bite and scratch, once rescued, they are really docile creatures who will sit still and let you treat them.”

The IFAW has put a pattern on their website detailing just how to make the koala mittens, how big they need to be, and where they should be sent.  Given that the dressings need to be changed multiple times a day, they need all the mittens they can get.  The only requirement, aside from size, is that they be 100 percent cotton.

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