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After Critically Burning All 4 of His Paws, Injured Koala is Finally Safe

Billy—an injured koala found clinging to a tree in Adelaide, Australia—was saved just in time!

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(TMU) — Surrounded by the destruction of Australia’s massive bushfires, Billy was found clinging to a tree in a backyard in Adelaide Hills, South Australia. He gave a loud cry when his rescuers pulled him from the tree, but he must have been overcome with relief more than anything else as he settled down straight away and snuggled in his carrier.

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⬅️ swipe 💙 Meet Billy 😍 Billy was brought out of the bushfire zone on Monday, with four burned paws. He’ll be in care for some time while his paws heal, and having daily dressing changes and treatments at the vets. He’s a very trusting and gentle soul, and his carers are head over heels in love with him ❤️🐨💙 . .🐨 To contribute to care for the victims of this tragedy, please see the link in our bio 🙏🐨🍃 . . . ***Please do NOT enter the fire grounds looking for injured wildlife. SAVEM will be deployed and are trained and equipped to deal with the injuries the animals may have and the fire ground dangers that still exist after the fire has passed through.*** . . If you see an orphaned, sick or injured koala please call @1300koalaz on 1300 562529 24/7. . . #koala #koalasofinstagram #koalarescue #babykoala #australia #rescue #australiananimals #wildlifecarers #abcmyphoto #cute #love #visitaustralia #koalababy #adelaide #southaustralia #koalalove #savethekoalas #koalarescue #marsupials #koala🐨 #koalas #koalajoey #helpthekoalas #australiannature #australianwildlife #savethekoala #koalabear #australia #bushfires #cudleecreek #bushfireappeal #fundraiser @abcadelaide @abcnews_au @thetiser @abcaustralia @bbcnews

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Lucy and Adam Francis work with 1300Koalaz to help rescue and rehabilitate injured koalas. They’ve experienced the pain and suffering of many koalas up close and personal since September 2019 as the wildfires raged across Australia affecting an estimated billion animals. Billy made it to safety in the nick of time but suffered severe burns on all four of his paws. He was rushed to a vet where he was assessed and his wounds bandaged before being taken to his new home where he will rest and heal.

Lucy explained:

As his paws were all bandaged he was unable to climb or be in the normal kind of enclosure that we use for koalas in care, so we had to think outside of the box and we made a makeshift enclosure for him in our kitchen so we could be close to him always. We used a camping mattress for him to sit on, and placed a pillow behind him for him to lean back in as it was difficult for him to sit in a normal koala position. He was clearly in shock, frightened and covered in soot and ash from the fire.

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Billy Update 💙🐨 our little fighter is healing slowly but well. We are confident he will make a full recovery! His paws remain wrapped as some of his more serious burns are still open and sore. The burns to his coccyx are still very painful for him, so his carers ensure he is comfortable on a soft mattress whilst he’s still not able to sit in a branch. He needs burn lotion regularly applied to this area to prevent infection, and his carers change and wash his bedding up to a dozen times a day. He still needs help when he’s feeding as although some of his claws are out it’s still difficult for him to grip his leafy dinners. Throughout this, he is gentle and calm and is loved by all who know him – he’s something of a celebrity amongst the local vets, who we can’t thank enough for the care, love and compassion they show him ❤️❤️ thank you all so much for the love and support you’ve shown Billy, our little hero 🐨🐨🐨 To contribute to Billy’s care and for the other victims of this tragedy, please see the link in our bio 🙏🐨🍃 . . . . If you see an orphaned, sick or injured koala please call @1300koalaz on 1300 562529 24/7. . . #koala #koalasofinstagram #koalarescue #babykoala #australia #rescue #australiananimals #wildlifecarers #abcmyphoto #cute #australiankoalafoundation #visitaustralia #koalababy #adelaide #southaustralia #koalalove #savethekoalas #koalarescue #marsupials #koala🐨 #koalas #koalajoey #helpthekoalas #australiannature #australianwildlife #savethekoala #koalabear #australia #bushfires #hero #bushfireappeal #fundraiser @abcadelaide @abcnews_au @thetiser @abcaustralia @bbcnews

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Lucy and Adam worried that taking care of Billy might be a struggle since he was quite a big boy and seemed depressed when he first arrived. To their surprise, Billy turned out to be one of the sweetest and most gentle koalas they had ever met.

When Billy first came to us and might have bitten my husband’s hand had he been a different-tempered koala, he sniffed it and licked it gently instead. We have a very close relationship with him and he lets us handle him as we need to and clearly trusts us, despite still being very much a wild koala.

The couple gained his trust by talking to him quietly and stroking his fur softly when they needed to move him or give him medicine. He handled it well and seemed to understand that he was in good hands from the moment he was rescued. Regardless of the pain, Billy trusted his rescuers completely.

His personality is so gentle and calm, even when we have to rub cream into his blisters and burns, or administer his vitamin mixture—which we’re really sure he hates—it’s like giving a very furry, reluctant child their medicine. He holds our hands with his back paws when we apply cream to his coccyx burn.

Billy was extremely weak when he was rescued and could not even feed himself. The inured koala was fed extra food and vitamins to help him heal and is getting stronger by the day. Lucy and Adam can see him becoming happier as his health improves.

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🐨😍 Billy update ❤️ One of Billy’s front paws and one of his back paws have now healed enough to have the bandages removed! 🙌🍃🎉 The best thing about this is that it’s much much easier for him to eat by himself 🍃😋 (he still likes to be hand fed by his carers whenever possible though 😅) A koala recovering from burns needs to eat around 3 times the amount of a healthy koala, as they need the calories to heal. We are over the moon with Billy’s progress!! Seeing him grip a leafy branch with his paw is one of the best feelings ever ❤️ We’re hoping it won’t be long until his other paws can also be unwrapped, and he can sit in a branch which will not only make him feel more koala-y but also help his coccyx heal at last. He copes with his treatment so well, ⬅️ swipe to see him having sleepy cuddles with one of his carers after a dressing change. Well done Billy, we love you ❤️🐨❤️ . . ❤️❤️ thank you all so much for the love and support you’ve shown Billy, our little hero 🐨🐨🐨 To contribute to Billy’s care and for the other victims of this tragedy, please see the link in our bio 🙏🐨🍃 . . . . If you see an orphaned, sick or injured koala please call @1300koalaz on 1300 562529 24/7. . . #koala #koalasofinstagram #koalarescue #babykoala #australia #rescue #australiananimals #wildlifecarers #abcmyphoto #cute #australiankoalafoundation #visitaustralia #koalababy #adelaide #southaustralia #koalalove #savethekoalas #koalarescue #marsupials #koala🐨 #koalas #koalajoey #helpthekoalas #australiannature #australianwildlife #savethekoala #koalabear #australia #bushfires #hero #bushfireappeal #fundraiser @abcadelaide @abcnews_au @thetiser @abcaustralia

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Billy won’t be ready for release back into the wild for a while, but at the moment he is happy and relaxed to be in a safe place with his friends.

We can’t wait to see him fully recover, and release him in a big beautiful gum tree one day—although he will leave a very big Billy-shaped hole in our home and in our hearts.

If you’d like to help other koalas in distress you can donate to 1300Koalaz. Those wishing to help the many other animals injured and displaced during the devastating fires can donate to WIRES, a wildlife emergency fund. 

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Blue Whales Return to Spain’s Coast After Disappearing for 40 Years

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Blue whales have been returning to the Atlantic coast of Spain after an absence of over 40 years in the region, when whaling industries drove the species to the brink of extinction.

Blue whales, which are the world’s largest mammals, had long disappeared from the region until the recent sightings.

The first was spotted off the coast of Galicia near Ons Island by marine biologist Bruno Díaz, who heads the Bottlenose Dolphin Research.

Another one of the majestic creatures was spotted the following year in 2018 and yet another in 2019. In 2020, two whales again made their return to the area.

It remains unclear as of yet as to why the creatures have returned to the area, but controls on local whaling industries are believed to play a role.

“I believe the moratorium on whaling has been a key factor,” Díaz remarked, according to the Guardian. “In the 1970s, just before the ban was introduced, an entire generation of blue whales disappeared. Now, more than 40 years later, we’re seeing the return of the descendants of the few that survived.”

Whaling had been a traditional industry in Galicia for hundreds of years before Spain finally acted to ban whaling in 1986, long after the blue whale’s presence in the region had faded away.

Some fear that the return of the massive sea mammals is a sign of global warming.

“I’m pessimistic because there’s a high possibility that climate change is having a major impact on the blue whale’s habitat,” said marine biologist Alfredo López in comments to La Voz de Galicia.

“Firstly, because they never venture south of the equator, and if global warming pushes this line north, their habitat will be reduced,” he continued “And secondly, if it means the food they normally eat is disappearing, then what we’re seeing is dramatic and not something to celebrate.”

Díaz said that while the data certainly supports this theory, it is too early to determine climate as the precise cause.

“It is true that the data we have points to this trend [climate change] but it is not enough yet,” he told Público news.

Another possibility is that the ancestral memory of the old creatures or even a longing for their home may offer an explanation, according to Díaz.

“In recent years it’s been discovered that the blue whale’s migration is driven by memory, not by environmental conditions,” he said. “This year there hasn’t been a notable increase in plankton, but here they are. Experiences are retained in the collective memory and drive the species to return.”

In recent years, researchers have found that migratory patterns are also driven by the cultural knowledge existing in many groups of species.

Researchers believe this type of folk memory, or cultural knowledge, exists in many species and is key to their survival.

A typical blue whale is 20-24 metres long and weighs 120 tonnes – equivalent to 16 elephants – but specimens of up to 30 metres and 170 tonnes have been found.

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