Paradise Primary School in Adelaide opened up its school gym so that Adelaide Koala Rescue could create a makeshift hospital to care for singed koalas.
Everyone is coming together to help the wild animals affected by the intense wildfires raging through Australia at the moment. As rescue services try their best to save as many animals as possible, emergency resources are scarce and under immense pressure. Therefore, a primary school in Adelaide has stepped in to do their part and help out. By allowing Adelaide Koala Rescue, a free 24-hour koala rescue and advisory service in the Adelaide Hills and other metropolitan areas, over one hundred koalas been able to rehabilitate after suffering severe injuries or being orphaned due to the wildfires, PEOPLE Magazine reports.
Paradise Primary School opened up their school gym and allowed Adelaide Koala Rescue to convert the space into a makeshift hospital. The emergency room was spontaneously set up in response to the dozens of koalas found affected by the Cuddle Creek fire, one of the many wildfires that have burned through the country since September of last year. The hospital, though relatively small, houses over one hundred koalas at present. It is run by a group of 150 volunteers, many of whom are trained veterinarians. They help provide the care that the injured and orphaned koalas need in order to survive.
The hospital utilizes foldable playpens as hospital beds for the koalas. Once an injured koala is brought in to the makeshift hospital, it is placed in a playpen as per its needs and circumstances. Currently, there is a pen for orphaned koalas, another for burn victims, and one for koalas with chlamydia (an illness that is sadly common among koalas), among others. Jane Brister, the director of Adelaide Koala Rescue, said in an interview with The Daily Mail about some of the hospital’s recent patients, "We’ve had a few come in that were just singed all over. It’s almost as though they were curled in a ball when the flames, the heat just went straight over the top of them."
Just like any patient at a hospital, all the koalas are given names and medical charts. Volunteers closely track them through their recovery process, releasing them back into the wild once they make sure a koala is fully healed from its injuries and able to independently navigate and thrive in the wilderness. The organization has already been able to release dozens of koalas back into the wild after treating them in the Paradise Primary School makeshift hospital. The animals are released into parts of the wild that remain unaffected by the wildfires so they are safe and free from harm.
The work that Adelaide Koala Rescue does would not be possible without the outpouring of support they have received from individuals across the world, particularly from donors on GoFundMe. Kind strangers have come together to donate a whopping total of over $167,000 over the past few weeks, helping the rescue immensely. Additionally, volunteers, too, have played a key role. "We’ve also got people volunteering to come and deliver browse (trees) for the koalas, we’ve got people volunteering to wash all the towels that we go through for the bedding," Brister affirmed. "The community support has been wonderful." If you would like to help out, you can make a donation to Adelaide Koala Rescue's GoFundMe.