UPDATE on yesterday’s post, “Here you go, Mate” — Hope from the Ashes
*New pictures, updates and new video below the fold to save loading time…
Sam the Koala is becoming overnight-famous in the way that’s only become possible since the advent of the Internet. Since the picture above, taken on the spur of the moment by a fellow CFA volunteer with a mobile phone camera, was published yesterday, Sam (who is a girl koala, by the way) has become a globally-famous marsupial. David Tree, the volunteer firefighter in the photo who is also shown in video here during the rescue? Not so much. Sure, you and your fellow bush fire fighters are the real heroes here, genuine Aussie legends, and you deserve to be famous too, all of you, but … what can we say? Sam is just that darned cute. But know that you and all of the volunteers who have been going almost non-stop day and night now, while you might not be quite as famous, still have our most sincere appreciation and admiration. Onya, mates!
From the Herald Sun:
Megan McNaught, Melbourne Herald Sun – February 11, 2009 12:00am
SAM became the most famous koala in the world when firefighter David Tree stopped to give him a drink amid the devastation.
The image provided a much-needed picture of hope in a week filled with news of despair. Yesterday Sam was recovering in Mountain Ash Wildlife Shelter.
Carer Jenny Shaw said she suffered burns on her paws and was in a lot of pain, but was on the road to recovery.
She was put on an IV drip and is on antibiotics and pain relief treatment.
“She is lovely – very docile – and she has already got an admirer. A male koala keeps putting his arms around her,” Ms Shaw said. “She will need regular attention and it will be a long road to recovery, but she should be able to be released back into the wild in about five months.”
Mr Tree said he was surprised by the reaction to the photograph, which was snapped by a fellow CFA volunteer on a mobile phone.
He said he was in the middle of backburning at Mirboo North when he saw the stricken koala. “I could see she had sore feet and was in trouble, so I pulled over the fire truck. She just plonked herself down, as if to say ‘I’m beat’,” he said.
“I offered her a drink and she drank three bottles.
“The most amazing part was when she grabbed my hand. I will never forget that.”
Mr Tree and his brigade then received an emergency call-out to save a house, but minutes later Sam was picked up by wildlife carers.
See also: “Here you go, Mate” — Hope from the Ashes and
I’ve just noticed how many hits we’re getting on our bushfire posts, especially the Sam the Koala ones, and how many people have been downloading/linking to the images.
Now, we are a non-commercial ‘hobby’ site – we don’t ask for or receive any money from this site.
As long as you’ve found yourself here, think about whether you need those lattes or take-aways (fast food) for the next week, and then think about all that the people of Victoria in Australia have just lost (materially, for no-one who has not lost a family member or loved one to disaster can even begin to imagine the rest of what these folks have lost…).
Go here: Australian Bushfires — How To Help
Seriously. “Just do it.”
UPDATE #2: By popular request, “How You Can Help – Animal Edition” – what you can do to help those like Sam the Koala!
UPDATE #3: The Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter which is now caring for Sam and other koalas that were burnt on 7 February 2009 now have a website with more great photos of and information about Sam the Koala, and they’ll be keeping it updated. They are also, of course, looking for help in caring for her and the many other animals they’ve taken in. http://www.samthekoala.com.au/