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US Inmates Put To Work, Sewing Pouches For Orphaned Kangaroos

Kangaroos and koalas orphaned by devastating bushfires are in line to receive new pouches sown by US prisoners in Florida, even if animal care organisations here have enough of them for now.

On Wednesday the Seminole County Sheriff's Office tweeted a video showing two inmates hard at work on sewing machines, stitching together makeshift "joey pouches" out of old uniforms.

"Inmates making them learn a new skill they can use upon their release," the sheriff's office, which is located just outside Orlando, tweeted.

The bushfires have charred huge expanses of bushland, rainforests, and national parks, killing more than a billion livestock and wild animals.

People hoping to help out from afar have been sewing pouches and sending them to Australia, so many that earlier this month, an organisation distributing the pouches said it was being "overwhelmed."

"We are now receiving a great deal of parcels each week and we feel that we will have more than enough," Wildcare Australia declared on January 18.

"As we have limited storage space, we would ask if you have not already started sewing pouches, that you please hold off on making any more until we distribute the pouches which we expect to arrive over the coming weeks.

"If you already have pouches sewn, please feel free to send them to us."

Seminole sheriff's spokesman Bob Kealing said the jail had been working with Wildcare Australia.

"They've told us to finish the batch we've been working on and send them along," Kealing said.

"From that point we'll wait for if (or) when they say they need some more."