Friday, February 13, 2009
Symbol of Hope
Canadian Press Photo
We've all heard about the devastating fires in Australia. Hundreds of people have lost their lives and the destruction of property and vegetation is mind boggling. Then there are the animals. It's been estimated that millions of wild and domestic animals have been killed, and even more have suffered injury and lost their homes and habitats. In other words for the survivors, no place to live...no food. I've read things that were truly heartbreaking. But instead of those stories I've chosen to write about a moment that symbolizes hope...a koala now known as Sam.
A firefighter named David Tree had been working long hours to gain control of the fires when he saw a koala in serious trouble. With her dark paws burned away to a raw pink, she was dazed and dehydrated. It is highly unusual for a wild koala to allow a human to come near, but not only did Sam welcome help, she drank eagerly from the bottled water offered to her. David says he was touched when the koala reached out and held on to his hand as she drank.
Sam is expected to make a full recovery along with other injured wild animal survivors such as kangaroos, possums, lizards, and turtles at the aptly named Mountain Ash Wildlife Shelter. Its reported that the animals remain fairly docile. They seem to know that volunteers are trying to help them.
Thank heaven for people like David Tree and the other volunteers who have reached out to help critters as well as people. As the world responds to this tragedy, it makes me hopeful that by working together, Australia will finally begin to travel the long road to recovery.