How you can help save koalas injured in the bushfires

While most of our content may focus on more aspirational topics such as great style, a decent wine, and luxury cars there are some topics too serious to ignore. Such as the current bushfires raging across Australia, in particular the NSW coast.

When it comes to images to definitely make you need to wipe your eyes it's a koala with bandaged paws.

It's an image that has become upsettingly common as bushfires continue to tear through New South Wales and Queensland. Four people have died and nearly 600 homes have been destroyed in NSW alone. 

In addition, thousands of hectares of koala habitat has been devastated in the blazes and it's estimated that around 350 koalas have died so far.

Koalas in Care manager Christeen McLeod told The Sydney Morning Herald there is fear the fires could have a long-term impact on the region's koala population.

"In our opinion, it's going to be catastrophic for our population," she said. "We will lose more, the fire was [just] the beginning of it."

So it's heartening to read stories such as the one of grandmother Toni Doherty who was praised for saving a burning koala from bushland in Port Macquarie, taking the shirt off her own back to do so.

"I've never heard a koala before. I didn't realise they could cry out," Ms Doherty told 9News. 

"It was just so heart wrenching and I knew I needed to get him out of there as quickly as possible." 


Then there's the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital which has already raised more than one million dollars on its GoFundMe. Far surpassing its initial goal of $25, 000 to buy automatic drinking stations for the koalas and other wildlife in fire-ravaged areas.

The hospital will now start a wild koala breeding program with the additional funds. 

Koalas are already listed as a vulnerable species in NSW and Queensland. 

The hospital has been searching the areas for koalas and other animals in need of water and treatment for burns. Team leader Gabi Rivett told The Sydney Morning Herald she had never experienced such a high volume of injured wildlife.

Other groups have been pitching in to help the koalas too, such as the Rescue Craft Collective which posted on Facebook that its community was busily making pouches, mittens, birds nests, blankets and more for animals affected in the fires. 

Other wildlife groups you can donate to include Koalas in Care (see more information here) while the Rescue Collective has created a wish list of urgently needed goods needed to help koalas and wildlife. The list includes syringes and saline, feeding bottles, Paw Paw ointment, Sorbolene, Lectate Oral Hydration and Bat Wraps and Pouches.

The website has a list of drop-off addresses and you can also order products online and have them delivered to The Rescue Collection HQ. 

You can donate to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital's GoFundMe page here.