If you feel like someone is cutting onions every time you see a photo of a poor little koala bear that's been hurt by the bushfires in Australia, this article is for you. 

To be honest, I've been a sucker for koalas since the first grade. Our teacher, Mrs. Buchanan, would bring a new stuffed animal to be our "class pet" every nine weeks. This adorable animal would go home with a student every weekend and that lucky student would have to journal not only about where they took their new friend, but would have to do research about the animal as well. My name got chosen when "Fuzzy," a stuffed koala bear, was the class pet. I remember taking him to my soccer game in the pouring down rain and giving him a prime viewing spot inside the windshield of our car so that he didn't get soaked watching my team play. After I dried off, I started researching the koala bear on a wildlife encyclopedia computer program my dad bought for me and my sister.

It may have been decades ago, but that's why I love koalas so much and I have legitimately cried every time I've seen a photo of one of them who has been burned by the bushfires that are devastating Australia. I want to help but didn't know how until I saw one of my friends post about adopting a koala. That sent me down the rabbit hole of finding these three ways to help koalas affected by the fires.

Donate to the World Wildlife Fund

The WWF has broken down just how devastating these fires are to the koala population. Due to the fires, they could become extinct in New South Wales and Southeast Queensland by 2050.  An estimated 8,400 have died in the fires already. That's why they have organized an extremely bold campaign to save them before it's too late. The plan includes finding care for the animals who have survived the fires with injury, restoring their devastated habitats and helping "future proof" Australia from events like this in the future. Here's the breakdown of the impact you can make by donating to their "Koala Crisis" Campaign.

  • $50: Help plant the first 10,000 urgently needed trees in critical koala habitat
  • $75: Provide emergency care and medicine for injured koalas affected by bushfires
  • $100:  Protect existing forest and woodland, and the wildlife that live in Australia
  • $150: Pressure governments to strengthen laws that prevent excessive tree-clearing, before it's too late.

Ready to help koalas through the WWF? Click HERE to make your donation.

Adopt a Koala Through the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

I found out about this koala hospital through a friend on Facebook who's super into Masked Singer and the Jeopardy Greatest of All Time Tournament. (I interact with his posts a lot, so they come up at the top of my feed.) They're continuing a koala adoption program they've been running for many years before the bushfires. For a small fee, you can "adopt" one of their 18 koalas which include permanent residents at the hospital's exhibit, joeys who've been recently been released, koalas who've appeared in documentaries about the hospital and burn victims of the recent fires.

Your adoption fee not only helps the hospital in their mission to help injured koalas so that one day they may be released back into a safe, natural habitat after the fires but also helps with conservation/expansion of their habitats, research about their habitat, disease and nutrition and furthers public education about these adorable bears. You can meet and adopt your koala HERE. 

Help the Irwin Family

Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin, the family of late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, run a wildlife hospital through the Australia Zoo.  They've been critical in helping thousands of animals who've been injured or lost their home due to the bushfires. Their latest goal is to raise $2 million to help build a new ward at the zoo to help animals recovering from the fires and send medical supplies to wildlife rescuers on the front lines. You can donate to their efforts HERE. 

BTW, we know our friends at Kiwi Shake and Bake are planning something special to help benefit wildlife affected by the fires on Australia Day (as it's observed in America) on January 25. Follow their event HERE for details as they are finalized for the event in Boise. 

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