With bushfires, floods, a global pandemic and a civil rights movement, 2020 has been nothing short of insane. The highly politicised tension that we’re currently living in, between class divides around lockdown conditions and coronavirus treatment, to racial injustice and the call to protect Bla(c)k lives, there is so much going on that it’s hard to keep up.
While our racial justice movements have me angry and energised and ready to fight, and coronavirus keeps me on my toes, and both these issues keep me wary and critical of our government, there’s a new development that’s leaving me heart broken.
The first koala that was rescued during last year’s bushfires in Port Macquarie has died, and it’s so fucking sad.
Terrible news from Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and a stark reminder that we need to focus our energy on taking the preventative measures that mean koalas don’t require care in the first place. #koalas #bushfires #climatechange https://t.co/785i70em3x
— Kailas Wild (@kailaswild) July 1, 2020
Named LINR Paul, the koala was brought to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital after his home at Lake Inns Nature Reserve was destroyed in the horror bushfires from last November.
His little hands and feet were severely burnt, and this precious bean was extremely traumatised. After a long time in a basket in intensive care, lil ol’ Paul started to get better, and the staff were overjoyed.
Fast forward 8 months, and things are looking good – he’s eating well, he’s starting to climb again. His carer think he’s got a shot of getting back to normal.
Until suddenly last week, his health declined. Poor little Paul’s recovery deteriorated, and he passed away suddenly and quickly.
The hospital staff are absolutely devo.
It is with a heavy heart that I let you know LINR Paul passed away on Sunday 28th June.
Paul was the first koala…
Link to actual post: https://www.facebook.com/koalahospital/photos/a.145862104661/10158618147609662
“I think all of us, we just didn’t expect him to die,” Port Macquarie Koala Hospital President Sue Ashton said.
“All of the yard teams at some stage would have interacted with him.
“We’ve offered counselling for them because you do get very attached to a koala,” she said.
Paul is pretty famous, too – the koala had over 30,000 sponsors GLOBALLY who invested in his treatment, making this news even more tragic.
Props to the team at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for doing such an emotionally difficult job – I can imagine it being super hard to care for a little fur baby for 8 months, think it’s going amazing, and then lose him.
Such sad news and on the back of the report highlighting how koalas are fighting for their very survival. So much thanks to everybody who tried so hard to save little Paul ??
— Deb Farrell (@OldDogNewClicks) July 1, 2020
“Today we’ve also communicated with the people who adopted him because they also cared,” Ashton said.
“We’ve had some really touching emails from around the world as people have heard about his death.”
However, Ashton said the emails actually have the grieving process even more painful for the hospital staff, because how can you move on from a death that you’re constantly reminded of?
It’s all really sad news amidst a turbulent and harsh political climate, and one that we can’t forget – because while our attention is being taken up by a global pandemic, struggling bushfire survivors are struggling. We’re only three months away from the next fire season – how prepared are we to face it?
You can support Koala Hospital Port Macquarie by donating here.