Friday, 13 February 2009

Giving people hope

A love story between two badly burned koalas rescued from Australia's deadliest bushfires has provided some heart-warming relief after days of devastation and the loss of over 180 lives.
The story of Sam and her new boyfriend Bob emerged after volunteer firefighter Dave Tree used a mobile phone to film the rescue of the bewildered female.
She was found cowering in a burned out forest at Mirboo North, 90 miles southeast of Melbourne.

Tree, who has been a volunteer firefighter for 26 years, said it was extremely rare to get so close to a koala so he asked his colleague Brayden Groen, 20, to film him.
'You can how she stops and moves forward and looks at me. It was like a look saying "I can't run, I'm weak and sore, put me out of my misery",' Tree said.
'I yelled out for some water and I sat down with her and tipped the water up.

'It was in my hand and she reached for the bottle then put her right claw into my left hand which was cold so it must have given her some pain relief and she just left it there. It was just amazing.'
Colleen Wood from the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter that is caring for Sam and Bob said both koalas were doing well while other animals like possums, kangaroos, and wallabies were also starting to emerge from the debris.
She said Sam had suffered second degree burns to her paws and would take seven to eight months to recover while Bob had three burned paws with third degree burns and should be well enough to return to the bush in about four months.
'They keep putting their arms around each other and giving each other hugs. They really have made friends and it is quite beautiful to see after all this. It's been horrific,' said Wood.
'Sam is probably aged between two to four going by her teeth and Bob is about four so they have a muchness with each other.'
Wood said about 20 koalas had been brought into her shelter in recent days, several of whom had bonded as koalas are known to clump together, but none had garnered the same attention as the new Internet star Sam.

Sam's story was reminiscent of a koala named Lucky who survived the 2003 bushfires that destroyed about 500 homes and killed four people in the capital of Canberra.
Lucky became a symbol of hope.
Tree, a volunteer with the Country Fire Authority Victoria, has visited Sam since her rescue and was delighted to see she had found a boyfriend in Bob.
'They've really taken a shine to each other as they are both burnt and share the same burnt smell,' he said.
'My heart goes out to the people in these fires and this was so innocent so people have used this to distract them from all the sad stuff that has gone on.
'It gives people a bit of hope.'

Ben shared this with me yesterday and i wanted to share it with you. Even in the hardest of times hope shines through. My thoughts and wishes are with you all.
Please help Wildlife Victoria.


LinenandRoses said...

Oh such a sweet story Catherine. Thanks so much for sharing. Feeling a bit blue this morning as my lovely fiance has had to go off on a School trip today for a week but reading this has cheered me up a bit. Good to hear such happy stories coming out of all the terrible loss in Australia.

No one is you ...& that's your power said...

It is all so sad loss of lives and the terrible devestation. That was lovely to read and glad the little koala is doing well and has a friend xDom

Purple Paisley Patch said...

What a beautiful love story, especially considering it's Valentine's Day tomorrow!

April said...

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April xx

Shabby Chick said...

Thanks for that Catherine, what a wonderful story.

Mel xxx

Sam said...

Oh my goodness - I have just read the story to my husband..the terrible loss to families and all of the wild animals is unimaginable ...

Those 2 darling Koalas are adorable xxx

What a love story

sam xx

Shabby Chick said...

Hi again, thanks for your reply on my blog, it really helps getting all this advice :)

You aren't too late for my giveaway... good luck!

Mel xxx