Despite the fact that some Australian bushfires are now relatively under control, there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure the safety of both people and animals. Recently, 3,000 reserve soldiers from the Australian Army joined forces with firefighters to battle the remaining fires that continue to burn in Eastern Australia. They’ve been working tirelessly for weeks and undoubtedly deserve a rest. However, some troops have chosen to dedicate their breaks between fighting fires to help care for displaced koalas.
Recent photos posted on the 9th Brigade Australian Army Facebook page show members of the 16th Regiment Emergency Support Force using their free time to visit Cleland Wildlife Park last week. The heartwarming images show the kind men and women each gently nursing a koala during feeding time. The cute creatures are pictured bundled up in blankets in the soldiers’ arms while they enjoy being fed through syringes. “16 Regiment Emergency Support Force have been using 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,” reads the Facebook post. “A great morale boost for our hard working team in the Adelaide Hills.”
More than 1 billion wild animals were killed during the fires, and many surviving koalas and other creatures have been left injured and without homes. As well as nursing the rescued koalas at Cleland Wildlife Park, The 16 Regiment troops were also tasked with preparing new climbing mounts for them, facilitating their climb to the trees. Up high among canopies, they are able to hide from predators and find shade during hot days.
Want to do your part to help animals affected by the bushfires? You can donate to WWF's Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund here.