Australia, woman challenges fires to save a struggling koala

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He runs among the trees, among the flames and the smoke. When he arrives at the koala in difficulty he takes off his shirt: he remains in a bra and holds that creature to himself as if he were a child of his. He takes it away from the fires, bathes it with a bottle of water to soothe the pain of burns, makes him drink. And finally he brings it with him, wrapped in a blanket, to get him a vet and the care he needs.

The animal symbol of Australia is disappearing: according to WWF Australia estimates we have already lost 95 percent of koalas in the world. And the situation is increasingly dramatic: the so-called "Koala Triangle", an area that stretches from Noosa in southern Queensland to Gunnedah in the northeast of New South Wales, is brought to its knees by unprecedented fires, also favored by global warming, exacerbated by excessive logging and agricultural and urban development.

According to WWF Australia, fires could have killed around 350 individuals, besides having destroyed most of the primary habitat of the species. A disaster considering that the koala populations in New South Wales and Queensland have already almost halved in 20 years due to habitat loss and that today only 5 percent of their population living on this continent in just a few remain in Australia centuries ago.



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