Amidst the ongoing bushfires in New South Wales and North-East Victoria, the intensity has reduced from previous months. Australians have shown tremendous dedication, whether on the firefront pushing back flames or providing humanitarian aid to those in need, including animals. Prime Minister Scott Morrison summoned 3,000 reserve soldiers to assist with firefighting and evacuation operations. The viral photo of the 16th Regiment Emergency Support Force aiding koalas further highlights their contribution.
The 16th Regiment Emergency Support Force gained viral attention when photos of them cuddling and feeding koalas were shared on their unit's Facebook page. Captain Garnett Hall, an Australian Army Vet deployed on Kangaroo Island, discussed how he and members of the 9th Brigade assisted the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park with injured wildlife. Captain Hall, also a veterinarian at West Coast Veterinary Hospital, chose his profession due to his passion for science, medicine, and growing up with a variety of animals. These dedicated soldiers sacrificed their rest time to aid in caring for displaced koalas at Cleland Wildlife Park.
The soldiers from the 16th Regiment Emergency Support Force provided assistance at Cleland Wildlife Park, caring for displaced koalas during feeding time and constructing climbing mounts. Captain Garnett Hall expressed his concern for Australia's native animals, particularly koalas, who suffered greatly from the bushfires. Their instinct to climb trees proved tragic in the face of fire. The soldiers also built mounts in the new park grounds to aid koalas' climbing abilities.
The 16th Regiment troops constructed special mounts for rescued koalas, enabling them to climb trees and find safety from predators. Captain Garnett Hall identified reducing stress and pain as the most challenging aspect of caring for burned koalas. The 9th Brigade's veterinarians also joined efforts, treating injured wildlife at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. Captain Hall highlighted the widespread impact of the fires on koalas, with burns on their paws, faces, and singed fur.
The Facebook post went viral, garnering over 24,000 reactions with 43,000 shares in just a couple days
Captain Garnett Hall, a veteran team leader, shared a heartwarming story about utilizing private soldiers as veterinary assistants during the Australian wildfires. The Facebook post quickly went viral, receiving over 24,000 reactions and 43,000 shares. Captain Hall emphasized the uniqueness of koalas, with their pouches for carrying babies. The Australian Army also dispatched soldiers to assist on Kangaroo Island. Share your uplifting stories from the Australian wildfires in the comments below!