We’ve done our best to cover the Australian bushfires and to raise awareness about this unprecedented disaster. And the thing that struck us most was just how much this horrible situation brought out the very best in some people. We can say with some certainty that Australia is full of heroes who don’t hesitate to rescue animals in distress. It’s time to meet some of them.
Scroll down, upvote the stories that inspired you, and remember to share this post with your friends. When you’ve finished this article, have a read through Bored Panda’s previous posts about teens who drive around saving koalas, a dog that rescues koalas, and a dog that saved a flock of sheep from fire.
In case you want to support the Australian people, here are some recovery efforts and disaster relief organizations that you can donate to: the Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul Society, and the Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund. If you know of any other similar charities, please share some info about them in the comments.
Bored Panda reached out to Demi, who goes by the pseudonym CarbonChic online, about the wraps she made for the baby orphan bats of the Aussie bushfires. "There are a lot of confused, injured and scared animals in Australia right now. Even more dead ones. And fire is one of those things that is really hard to control when it escalates to this level."
"I’m not someone who can be on the front line fighting fires but I felt like I still needed to do something. Not just donate money, but put my back into it, make something that would directly affect an animal, and not have anything skimmed off the top or have some kind of uncertainty as to where it’s going," Demi said. "The things I make are going directly toward helping the more helpless victims of the bushfire."
Demi said that she livestreams on Twitch and it took her an entire stream to get the bat wraps done. "About 6 hours for 18. I made 21 joey pouches in today’s stream. In total, I’ve also raised about $300 during these streams, too for the Animal Rescue Craft Guild, which feels like a pittance compared to celebrities like Celeste Barber but every little bit counts."
"I’m lucky to be living in the heart of Brisbane, so we are safe. The worst I’ve gotten is a few asthmatic symptoms from the smoke in the air, which comes and goes depending on where the fires are," Demi said. "Everyone is pretty nervous still about the continued destruction, it just looks like it’s never-ending! I am really sad about the loss of life and will continue making pouches and wraps until my supplies run out."
We’re seeing people helping their neighbors and the local wildlife left and right in Australia. It’s a true testament to bravery that they’re putting the safety of animals above their own.
For example, the staff working at the Mogo Zoo in New South Wales protected all of their 200 animals from danger. The team set a very precise plan into motion. First of all, they removed everything flammable from the area. Secondly, they’d prepared hundreds of thousands of liters of water in advance. Thirdly, they relocated the larger animals to night enclosures. Zoo director Chad Staples, who called the situation “apocalyptic” and compared it to “Armageddon,” opened up his home to some of the smaller animals.
"Right now in my house there's animals of all descriptions in all the different rooms,” Staples told the media. Meanwhile one of the zookeepers even took a tiger home with them (temporarily, of course).
There’s also a place for laughter in the darkest of times (maybe even especially during them). Firefighters with the Urunga Rural Fire Service in New South Wales saved Paul Sekfy’s home from the blaze and left him a wholesome note: “It was our pleasure to save your house... P.S.— we owe you some milk.”
That’s right. The people who risked their lives to battle the elements apologized for drinking the man’s milk. Kale Hardie-Porter, who left the note, later had this to say to Sekfy: “I'm happy to know my note got to you in one piece! We took refuge in your house and that's when we discovered the fridge. It was our pleasure to do a little good in such horrendous conditions.”
Dear Pandas, if you’re currently in Australia, stay safe. And let us know in the comments how you, your friends, family, and neighbors are helping each other and the local wildlife out.