Mitten campaign goes viral as koalas injured in bushfires win world's sympathy


They’re the cuddliest victims of the South Australian bushfires and now the state’s injured koalas have won the world’s sympathy – and sewing.

Many koalas escaped the states bushfires with burnt paws, an injury curbed thanks to donations of homemade cotton mittens to help the healing process.

Director of the Adelaide Koala and Wildlife Hospital Rae Campbell said the response to the injured wildlife had been overwhelming.

Ms Campbell said she expected a few hundred pairs when the call for donations was made a week ago, but its viral path on social media saw mittens coming from as far away as Russia, Khazakstan and Iran.

“We has no anticipation whatsoever that we would get anything like the amount we have,” she said.

“I really feel when today's mail is unpacked, it will be somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000.”

Locals such as Octavia Barker have been just as generous.

“I heard actually some animals had been injured and killed and I thought this is the only way that we can help all the veterinary people help all the sick animals,” she said.

With koalas well covered, sewers are being asked to direct their talents to help other injured wildlife.

While many animals were lost in the worst fires to hit South Australia in more than 30 years, some lucky ones are likely to recover - thanks to the world's love.

Last week, the International Fund for Animal Welfare asked volunteers to sew cotton mittens for koalas that have been severely burnt. The mittens would be used to cover the animals's bandages.

"Koalas with burns to their paws need to have them treated with burn cream and wrapped in bandages. They then need special cotton mittens to cover the dressings. All this needs changing daily so we’re asking if you can help us by sewing koala mittens – as many as they can before the fire season truly hits," said IFAW's Josey Sharrad.

Source SBS

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