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Since Friday, an out-of-control fire has raged across South Australia, and the BBC reports that over 100 people have needed hospital treatment. Of course, humans aren’t the only creatures suffering from the fires: It’s estimated that hundreds of animals have died so far, with many needing to be put down because their injuries were so severe.
Australian Marine Wildlife Research & Rescue Organisation president Aaron Machado told the BBC, “Koalas don’t have immune systems so the risk of death from infection is very high.” He continued, “They get to a point where they are in so much pain … they just sit at the bottom of a tree and scream.”
And, even the animals who survived haven’t made it out unscathed. Koalas have had a particularly tough time of it, since they move oh so slowly. Their injuries are typically burns on their paws. After the koala paws are treated with medicine and bandaged, they need to be protected with cotton mittens. The International Fund for Animal Welfare is putting out a call for more to be made to help the koala community.