Both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.
Three Snowy Mountain Koalas, who were rescued from the Australia wildfire crisis, have been named after American firefighters who were tragically killed in the region.
Dr Karen Ford, an ANU researcher and who is running the makeshift hospital at ANU, said in a university statement, "We have 11 koalas at ANU that have come in from the various fire grounds in the region.They just keep arriving. There is nowhere else that has the facilities to hold these animals or this many at the moment."
Ford also mentioned that a couple of the koalas are being treated for burns, while the others are "quite skinny" from malnutrition, due to their habitats being completely burnt.
Koalas are known to breed so slowly that it could take 100 years for the population to rebuild — so saving just one is crucial. That is why the koalas have been a central focus of relief efforts as the blaze spreads across the region.
Story via CBS News
According to ANU, the names given to koalas were Ian, Paul and Rick, in honor of firefighters Captain Ian McBeth, first officer Paul Clyde Hudson and flight engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr.
Sadly, the three were killed in a plane crash while battling the bushfires in New South Wales. It was in that very region, the koalas were found and rescued.
"I am really pleased we can help these koalas otherwise I don't know where they would have gone," Ford said.
The three heroes. RIP.
*From left to right: Captain Ian H. McBeth, first officer Paul Clyde Hudson and flight engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr., who died in an air tanker crash while battling bushfires in Australia.*
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