Hundreds Of Koalas Burnt To Death During Bushfires In Mass 'Cremation'
More than 350 koalas were burnt to death as they tried to escape the wrath of bushfires ravaging the NSW coast.
At least 16 koalas were rescued from devastated areas surround Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid-North Coast, but the majority of the population could not be saved.
At least 350 koalas living at Lake Innes Nature Reserve were wiped out over the weekend, according to Reuters. It's believed this number accounts for half of the koalas living on the reserve -- there were roughly 600 alive before the fires took hold.
Animal carers from the nearby Port Macquarie Koala Hospital searched the reserve for surviving koalas, almost all of which sustained burns or other injuries as the fire passed through.
At the hospital, koalas are being treated for a range of serious burns.
Paul was the first koala admitted to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital after the fire tore through his habitat at Lake Innes Nature Reserve. Paul's fur was badly burned and so were his feet and hands. Carers worked to administer Paul some fluids to rehydrate him before he is ready for further treatment.
Peter, also from Lake Innes Nature Reserve, received burns to 90 percent of his body. He also got serious burns to this hands and feet, which have been wrapped in pink cloth and bandages by staff.
"You can see he looks quite brown -- that is the effects of radiant heat on his fur. We will give him and all the other wildlife that come through our doors, the best of care," the Koala Hospital wrote on its Facebook page.
Anwen was found injured at the nature reserve on Friday. She was transported to the ICU unit at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, where she has been cared for. Anwen was seriously burnt in the fires, which is clear by the very dark colour of her fur. She was given liquid and eucalyptus leaves to help with her recovery.
Peter, Paul and Baz, all from Lake Innes Nature Reserve, are now recovering together. They have been given fresh eucalyptus to snack on.
Koalas can be 'adopted' at the Port Macquaire Koala Hospital website. For $60 a year, treatment and recovery costs for a koala in need are covered. Adoption fees also assist with the conversation and expansion of koala habitats and related research.
Fire conditions are expected to worsen on Tuesday, with high temperatures and strong winds expected across NSW.
State-wide fire bans for both Queensland and NSW have been enforced for Monday and Tuesday.
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