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Couple OpenTheir Home To Over 20 Koalas After Devastating Fires Ruined Natural Habitat

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Couple OpenTheir Home To Over 20 Koalas After Devastating Fires Ruined Natural Habitat

A couple in Australia have turned their home into a makeshift koala hospital, as bush fires in Australia rage on, putting wildlife as well as people in grave danger.

With fears that 350 koalas in the New South Wales and Queensland regions are already dead, and many more have lost their homes, Christeen and Paul McLeod, from Taree, in one of the affected areas, have set up a makeshift burns unit to try and save the helpless creatures.

Credit: Koalas in Care/Facebook
Credit: Koalas in Care/Facebook

Now, their lounge is covered in washing baskets full of koalas - 24 in fact.

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The couple have been helping the cuddly creatures for years, setting up welfare refuge Koalas in Care back in 1993, but since the fires broke out have been heading out to try and rescue the furry animals, before treating their burns at home.

Paul told ABC News that the problem is a koala's instincts during these kinds of emergencies.

Paul McLeod helps Koala Sooty. (Credit: ABC News)
Paul McLeod helps Koala Sooty. (Credit: ABC News)

He said: 'When it comes to fires, koalas are probably their own worst enemy.

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"Their natural instinct tells them to go to the top of the tree and that's where the heat is.

"So what we've come across is koalas high up in the trees and we've had to use bucket trucks and long ladders to achieve rescues.

"Even if by some miracle the koala escapes the heat in the top, when they come back down they're going to walk across hot coals."

The fur babies have been getting care and attention from the couple in their home. (Credit: Koalas in Care/Facebook)
The fur babies have been getting care and attention from the couple in their home. (Credit: Koalas in Care/Facebook)
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"So it's a very difficult and painful process for them."

Neither Christeen nor Paul is a vet, they volunteer to help koalas because they fear no-one else will.

In a video interview with ABC, Christeen is seen caring for Sooty the Koala whilst explaining what's happened to him: "He's been very badly affected - all his paws are burnt... His nose his chin, all his fur's been scorched," she said.

Koala's instincts during the fires are to rush to the top of the tree, which is actually the hottest place. (Credit: Pexels)
Koala's instincts during the fires are to rush to the top of the tree, which is actually the hottest place. (Credit: Pexels)
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When asked why she volunteers to help them by the reporter she said: "We've just been doing this for 27 years.

"Because somebody has got to look after them, because nobody else has done too much as far as the government in protecting their habitat and protecting them, so we do this in the hope in saving some of them."

And it's lucky there are people like them, because news services in Australia have been reporting that injured and poorly Koala numbers are rising everyday, because of the ongoing bushfires, but there is just not enough room to house them all.

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Group President, Ros Irwin, of Friends of the Koalas Group told ABC Radio that their welfare centre as well as other local animal hospitals and zoos are full to the brim, calling the situation "dire" with so many of the creatures injured.

The losses are expected to rise too, as firefighters are still tackling fires and with winds expected to fan flames in new directions - the situation is still not fully under control.

Poor fur babies. Well done Christeen and Paul.

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: Life News, Animals, Australia

Lauren Bell
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