Images have surfaced of a badly burned koala receiving treatment in Australia, in case you needed a reminder that the human race is a viral infection doing its best to sap the earth of everything good and beautiful:
Hundreds of animals have died in the bushfires that have raged across South Australia since Friday, reports BBC, recalling the estimated one million native animals and 173 people dead after the Victorian bushfires of '09. Over 30,000 acres of land are in flames right now in the Adelaide Hills, brought on by soaring temperatures (2014 was Australia's third-hottest on record) and high winds; more than 100 people have been hospitalized, and at least 32 homes destroyed. The Insurance Council of Australia declared a catastrophe on Monday for regions near Adelaide in South Australia.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), many animals not killed or injured by the blaze have been left without food, water, or shelter. This particular koala, currently being treated by The Australian Marine Wildlife Research & Rescue Organisation (AMWRRO), has had a rough go of it:
The koala, found in the Adelaide Hills, would likely have died if it had not been rescued, AMWRRO President Aaron Machado told the BBC. He said staff were confident the koala would recover in a couple of months and be released back into the wild.
Dubbed Jeremy by the staff, the koala faced a high chance of dying from infection or starvation, said Mr Machado. "Koalas don't have immune systems so the risk of death from infection is very high. We have cleaned his wounds and dressed them with sterile bandages," he said.
"They get to a point where they are in so much pain … they just sit at the bottom of a tree and scream."
That's right: koalas don't have immune systems, and when in pain, they "just sit at the bottom of a tree and scream." I am, at this moment, having trouble imagining anything worse than this. But on the bright side, Jeremy has a team of caretakers working to get him back on his feet (via AMWRRO's Facebook page)...and look at those cute little casts!
Although Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a dangerously stupid man who appears to have no sense of the environmental perils faced by the country he leads, it seems that other Australian leaders are beginning to fight back as New South Wales, Southern Australia, and Victoria consider joining forces in a united front against Abbott's climate change policies.
Images via AP; AMWRRO Facebook page