Australian Fires put Koalas in Danger

Darby McLoughlin

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Australia- In the past few weeks more than three hundred and fifty koala bears died in wild bushfires in their most populated area of habitation in Australia.  The tally will most likely rise due to starvation and dehydration, of koalas that have not yet been rescued but didn’t die in the fires.  

The very few lucky bears escaped the fires with burns on their feet and singed ears.  The less fortunate Koalas were burned to the point where there was just ash left in the spots where they died.

The fires have burned more than 2.5 million acres on the east coast, with fires starting on the west coast as well.  About six hundred koalas lived and died at Lake Innes Nature Reserve when the fires passed through the area. The bears climbed the trees to seek refuge, but instead ended up either suffocating or burning to death.  

Koalas were already vulnerable to extinction because of human causes. Humans have been clearing forests where koalas lived for land.  Thus in the koala’s main habitat the population has dropped to fewer than twenty thousand. It is now possible for koala bears to be extinct by the year 2025. 

One specific koala was put down a few weeks ago after being rescued from the fires by a complete stranger named Toni Doherty.  This koala had bad burns all across his chest and stomach and his feet were completely burnt. Burns are said to get worse before they get better, his burns did get worse but unfortunately they would not have gotten better.  Therefore the doctors decided to put him down instead of letting the little guy continue to go through the pain.  

There are many koala bears that have suffered a painful death and other koalas that are waiting to be rescued.  These koalas are waiting but will most likely not be rescued because people can’t go into the fire to save them.