Back in late 2019, a ferocious wildfire ripped through Australia, causing absolute havoc and devastation. It was an unprecedented event in many ways. Many publications were calling it a fire unlike anything we’ve seen before and for good reason. The string of wildfires burned millions upon millions of acres, and have left areas such as Vicotria and New South Wales completely empty.
These fires roared through communities full of people as well as habitats full of the world’s amazing wildlife.
We wanted to highlight the thousands of brave men and women who not only cared for people, but also went above and beyond to save the wild animals in Australia.
One incredible example is the story of the 3000 reserve soldiers who were called upon to assist In combatting the flames. These soldiers worked tirelessly and for long hours at a time.
When they weren’t combatting a wild fire, they were going out of their way to care for… koalas.
A specific regiment of these soldiers has now gone viral all over the world thanks to amazing pictures of them helping and feeding koalas.
These brave men and women are in need of some well-deserved rest after going through seemingly endless and tiring shifts, but a large amount of those soldiers decide to spend their time off doing something else. In fact, they’re not even stopping helping the country recover from this terrible natural disaster.
The soldiers from the 16th Regiment Emergency Support Force chose to nurse and care for koalas whose habitat has been destroyed by the wildfires. The photos were posted on the official Facebook page of the unit, where they quickly went viral.
The images are absolutely adorable, and it shows the troops helping out at Cleland Wildlife Park, where a number of koalas now reside the devastation of their natural habitat.
“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. A great morale boost for our hard working team in the Adelaide Hills,” the Facebook caption reads.
Aside from caring and nurturing the amazingly cute koalas, the troops also made new building mounts in the wildlife park so that the animals would have something to climb on. Koalas naturally spend time in the trees, as it’s their safe place to cool off from the heat and it’s also a place where they can hide from predators. Not that the latter is really an issue here, but climbing their trees is simply part of their DNA.
Garnett Hall, the director, and also a vet at the West Coast Veterinary Hospital, knows a thing or two about aiding koalas.
“The most challenging part is reducing stress and pain,” Hall told BoredPanda. “Many of these koalas have extensive burns, which would be incredibly painful. On top of that, they are scared, their homes have been destroyed, their friends are likely all dead, and they’ve been taken to a strange place for treatment. We do our best to give them appropriate pain relief and sedation, but cleaning and dressing their burns is still a difficult thing.”
Veterinarians from the 9th brigade also visited Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park to help out with the injured animals. It’s absolutely amazing and heartwarming to see how the brave men and women in uniform would rather spend their free time helping the local wildlife than resting in bed.
“It’s been really enjoyable to have private soldiers who were attached to the veteran team as drivers, but I actually have been using as veterinary assistants, and it’s been so helpful to have an extra set of hands to help hold animals and to let me treat their wounds. It’s been great and they’ve absolutely loved it,” Hall concluded.
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Source: Bored Panda, Australian Army