These Australian Army soldiers are given well-deserved break times from fighting the catastrophic bushfires, but instead of using it to rest, they spend it helping feed and comfort displaced koalas.
Wildfires have been ravaging the forests in New South Wales and Northeast Victoria in Australia since September. Amid this disaster, countless individuals and groups have been risking their lives fighting the blazes and providing humanitarian aid for both people and animals in need.
Across the country, several animal rescues have stepped up by opening their facilities – and sometimes, their own homes – to hundreds of injured wildlife that needed a safe place to recover.
And now, the Australia Army soldiers are doing the same. Last Friday, the mighty men and women from the South Australian and Tasmanian 16 Regiment Emergency Support Force visited Cleland Wildlife Park during their rest time to care for koalas in need.
Through a Facebook post, the Australian Army shared a series of photos showing their members carefully feeding and cradling the koalas.
“#OurPeople from 16th Regiment Emergency Support Force have used their rest periods to lend a helping hand at the Cleland Wildlife Park, supporting our furry friends during feeding time and by building climbing mounts inside the park,” the caption said.
Nobody had the chance to change out of their army uniforms for the quick stop. After the short visit, they returned to Adelaide Hills to battle the blazes again. The troops also gave the furry animals their required nutrients through syringes. It was truly a heartwarming sight to see!
Along with being a great help to the koalas, the use of this free time was also beneficial to the force as well. The time they spent at the park was “a great morale boost for our hard working team in the Adelaide Hills,” according to the Australian Army’s Facebook post.
Experts predict that over 1 billion wildlife, including thousands of koalas, have perished in the bushfires.
Bored Panda spoke with Captain Garnett Hall, a director and veterinarian at the West Coast Veterinary Hospital in Perth, Australia. He explained how severely koalas have been affected by this tragedy.
“I think Australia’s native animals, such as koalas, have suffered the most from the bushfires,” he said. “When threatened, their instincts are to climb trees. However, when faced with a fire, this response leads to tragedy. The koalas cannot outrun those flames and, as a result, most that were in the fire-affected areas have died. Some have survived, but they have horrible burns on their hands, feet, and faces.”
Tough times do really have a way of bringing out the best in people. We have witnessed courage, kindness, compassion, and resourcefulness displayed by individuals all over the world, who wanted nothing but to help the whole of Australia recover from this catastrophe.
These animals may have no way of expressing how thankful they are, but we’re sure that each one of them feels grateful towards the Good Samaritans who saved their lives.
Watch the video below: