Vets work to save burnt koalas as 30,000 estimated to have died on Kangaroo Island in bushfires

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Shared January 10, 2020

"He's a very sick koala but he's one that we do have hope for," says Veterinary Officer Garnett Hall, who is part of a team in Southern Australia working to nurse bushfire-affected koalas back to health.
At the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park in the South of Australia, veterinarians and nurses are working around the clock to tend to the burnt wounds of koalas.

The koala is facing a possible decimation in numbers due to the raging inferno that spread across various states within the past months.

"Now, you can see his coat's got a lot of smoke, it's slightly singed in places, his lungs have a bit of smoke damage to them as well," said Veterinary Officer Garnett Hall on Friday (January 10) while tending to the burnt wounds of a male Koala. "He's a very sick koala but he's one that we do have hope for."

Some estimates by experts put the number of animals killed, including domestic pets and livestock, at as high as half a billion, with potentially hundreds of thousands of injured and displaced native wildlife.

So far, about 30,000 koalas were estimated to have died from the fires on Kangaroo Island, according to Hall. But he and other veterinary staff are determined to save as much koalas as they can, to nurse them back to full health so that they can ultimately be released back into the wild.

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