Last Wednesday, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) announced they would take action to help koalas injured by the catastrophic bush fires in South Australia and Victoria.
Many of these adorable animals have suffered burns on their paws while trying to escape burning trees.
Local vets and wildlife rehabilitators asked volunteers to make cotton mittens that will keep the burn cream and bandages in place for the injured koalas. It can take up to a year for the koalas’ burned paws to heal, so there was a demand for hundreds of pairs for each of the surviving animals.
In just one day, the IFAW website collected pledges to make 500 pairs of mittens from clean 100% cotton (such as old sheets, tea towels, or cotton t-shirts). So, very quickly they received tons of help for the koalas and the need has been fulfilled for the most part.
Now they are switching focus and working on helping the little joeys and possums that lost their parents in the devastating fires.
These marsupials need to be kept warm in a quiet ‘pouch’ like environment. Pouches are changed regularly after each feeding and up to six pouches can be used per animal each day. With regular washing and daily wear and tear plenty of pouches are needed.
We need your help to keep the pouches coming. The koala mittens have a fairly limited range of uses, but the marsupial pouches are more versatile by also helping joeys hurt in other ways, like car accidents.
Here are complete pouch-making instructions. Send your pouches, which should be made of 100 percent cotton just like the mittens, to IFAW at 6 Belmore Street, Surry Hills 2010, Australia.
If you’re not handy with a needle and string, you can still help by sending money if you felt like doing so.