The tragic tanker crash that happened last week, killing three American firefighters, was somehow even more deadly than it was widely reported to be. The tragedy extended further because we didn’t just lose the heroes in the plane. We lost the koala sanctuary they were protecting, too.
The Two Thumbs Sanctuary was being protected from fires by the tanker before it went down – and when it crashed, it wiped out all their sheds and machinery as well as the entire koala colony in their care. It get’s even sadder – the koalas included those previously rescued and nursed back to health from other fires.
Welcome to the “5-star koala hotel” – ANU is providing a safe-haven for displaced and injured koalas, with three individuals named after the American aerial firefighters tragically killed in the air-tanker crash in southeast NSW. @BiologyANU https://t.co/ACY2Cyusti pic.twitter.com/U2yhvkfGCO
— Science at ANU (@scienceANU) February 2, 2020
The loss has been devastating. Paired with the recent discovery that loggers are massacring koalas by the dozen in Victoria even after we lost so many in fires, it’s becoming more important than ever to protect them.
MAKE THIS GO VIRAL. Hundreds of koalas slaughtered during the logging of bluegum plantation near Portland. Company is #southwestfibre, a joint venture between #midway and #mitsui. This is absolutely unacceptable. #australianbushfires @abcnews pic.twitter.com/iyFq5fEEYL
— Stephie (@Stephiewashere) February 1, 2020
The koala sanctuary was completely decimated, and is now in desperate need of a revival for the precious few koalas left. The land wasn’t just for the Two Thumbs sanctuary, but a zone where many local sanctuaries can release animals, so it’s incredibly important to protect it for the future of fire-affected species.
So, How Do We Help?
The Two Thumbs Sanctuary is asking for donations to rebuild and recover so they can buy the equipment needed to keep caring for koalas.
You can donate to the Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust here.
Apparently as well as the horrific loss of three lives in the water bomber crash yesterday, the crash caused a fire which then destroyed Two Thumbs animal sanctuary and killed the rescued koalas. Just tragic. pic.twitter.com/hEjYYPV1Nj
— teenie (@_ceggy) January 24, 2020
The trust covers a bunch of local sanctuaries, as well as rehabilitation and research centres. They don’t just care for koalas either – the sanctuaries are home to other endangered species like the greater gliders, squirrel gliders, Rosenberg’s goanna and the rare quoll.
It’s super important to try as hard as we can to support sanctuaries – because right now, we really can’t afford to lose more koalas.
With the support of local authorities and wildlife carers, Vets are seeking to save as many of these precious animals as possible. We appreciate the of concern from so many caring people, but please know there is no need for further volunteers.
We will update when we can. 💔🐨 pic.twitter.com/ckBCmyOiWq
— Animals Australia (@AnimalsAus) February 1, 2020
Image Sources: Twitter @AnimalsAus, @_ceggy, @Stephiewashere, @scienceANU