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article imageLove Blooms Among Badly Burned Koala Bears

By M Dee Dubroff     Feb 12, 2009 in Environment
The aftermath of the devastating Australian brush fires that claimed more than 180 lives hardly seems the proper setting for a love story, but somehow it is. Read this heart-warming tale of love and hope between two badly burned, rescued koalas.
According to news sources, Sam a female koala, was rescued by Dave Tree, a volunteer firefighter for 26 years, in a burnt out forest at Mirboo North, about 90 miles southeast of Melbourne, Australia. The video of the rescue became an Internet sensation and the poor bear putting her burned claw into Tree’s wet hand and feeding from a plastic bottle is enough to melt the most callous heart.
It is extremely rare to get so close to a koala and for that reason Tree asked his colleague, Brayden Groen, to film the encounter. He told Reuters:
“You can how she stops and moves forward and looks at me. It was like a look saying "I can't run, I'm weak and sore, put me out of my misery. I yelled out for some water and I sat down with her and tipped the water up. It was in my hand and she reached for the bottle then put her right claw into my left hand, which was cold so it must have given her some pain relief and she just left it there. It was just amazing.”
But misery was not in the cards for Sam. True love blossomed after she was taken to the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Rawson and she met and befriended Bob, another koala rescued by wildlife workers a few days before. Both koalas are doing well and are expected to recover although it will take about six months. Both Sam and Bob suffered second and third degree burns to their paws.
A wildlife center spokesperson said:
"They keep putting their arms around each other and giving each other hugs. They really have made friends and it is quite beautiful to see after all this. It's been horrific.”
Dave Tree has visited Sam since her rescue and was delighted to see she had found a boyfriend in Bob. He had this to say:
“They've really taken a shine to each other as they are both burned and share the same burned smell. My heart goes out to the people in these fires and this was so innocent that people have used it to distract them from all the sad stuff that has gone on. It gives people a bit of hope.”
Love really does spring eternal, doesn’t it? Hugs to Sam and Bob and hopes for a speedy recovery.
For a view of the love bears, go to the link provided.
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