As bush fires devastate parts of Australia, dealing with the challenges faced by the local communities and habitats has become a monumental task. The U.S and Canada had sent aid earlier this week in attempts to combats the blaze, but the scale of destruction has generally over-whelmed relief efforts.
As a result, two brave teens decided to take matters into their own hands, by doing everything they can to save the affected Koala population on Kangaroo Island.
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Approximately 50,000 koalas reside on Kangaroo Island, but it's tragically estimated that 30,000 of them could have been lost already.
But in the midst of the devastation, also comes a story of courage. 19-year-old Caleb and 18-year-old Micah have taken it upon themselves to manually rescue koalas, finding and fitting in to their car as many as they could, before transporting them to safety.
They posted on social media, “This is our little koala rescue. We’re just trying to collect as many live ones as we can - Caleb and Micah."
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As they've journeyed across the outback, the teens have witnessed some pretty startling images, they estimated that 60% of the koalas they encountered had already perished.
Without the ingenuity of local inhabitants like Caleb and Micah, the animal populations would have been left even further affected.
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Since local animal shelters have found themselves bursting at the seams, the teens have both committed themselves to sheltering the koalas until they can provide a more permanent solution.
If you would like to donate to the relief efforts on the island, consider checking out organizations like the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park’s GoFundMe page HERE.
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“We will continue to provide the best care possible for our injured wildlife, we expect due to significant habitat loss we will be building exhibits to hold the treated koalas [and other wildlife] until we can arrange release back into the wild for many of them.
Your donations are going directly towards the koalas and wildlife we have coming in from the fires for their care, triage and ongoing treatments, housing, essential equipment, feed and more.”
-Dana Mitchell (owner of KIWP)
If you would like to support Victorian communities impacted by fire. The Victorian Government has partnered with Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army to establish an appeal, with 100% of donated funds going directly to communities in need. Donations can be made here at the Community Enterprise Foundation