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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 20 October 2021

Koala nursed back to health after being found unconscious during wildfire

Police officers hand-fed the animal, who has been nicknamed Constable K Bear.

FIREFIGHTERS IN AUSTRALIA saved an unconscious koala they found while battling a bushfire along the Victorian coast.

Victoria Police took over caring for the koala and posted a video to its Facebook page showing the koala being hand-fed.

She has been nicknamed Constable K Bear and is doing well.

Wildlife Victoria’s Amy Hidge urged people who see an animal that looks hurt or in danger to contact the organisation.

“We understand that at the moment looking for animals is a low priority, but at this stage we just need people to look out for bushfire-affected animals,” she said.

Fire-affected wildlife may have burns to their feet and tails that cannot be seen, as well as other serious problems like smoke inhalation, dehydration and even starvation. These animals can be found sometimes months after a fire has swept through and are very adept at masking these injuries.

According to AFP, a Christmas Day bushfire destroyed 116 homes southwest of Melbourne in the wooded coastal area along the Great Ocean Road tourist drive. About 500 firefighters battled to put out the inferno.

Rising temperatures

Despite relief that no lives were lost and the end of the immediate fire threat to the towns, Victoria state authorities warned that some blazes — while no longer an immediate threat — would continue to burn for weeks.

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“It’s like a sleeping giant. The fire is still uncontrolled,” incident controller Peter West told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of the bushfires in one of the affected seaside towns, Lorne.

You won’t see flame and lots of smoke in the air but as it heats up over the next couple of days, you will start to see that occur again.

Temperatures were also set to soar again in the lead-up to the new year, rising to as high as 38 degree Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) in some parts of the state, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

- Additional reporting from AFP

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Órla Ryan

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