Australia Wildfires: Stuffed koalas in New York City provide helping hand amid devastating bushfires

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Thursday, January 16, 2020
Stuffed koalas in NYC provide helping hand to Australia wildfires
Toni Yates has more on the stuffed koalas popping up around NYC to help after the devastating bushfires in Australia.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Many people have already raised money to help fight the devastating wildfires in Australia, and now, there are koalas popping up around New York City to encourage people to continue to donate to save the wildlife.

Parts of Australia are getting much-needed help from the sky as rain heals the land scorched by the wildfires and airdrops of food are keeping them fed.

"That's not just about animals of course," said Lily D'Amnrosio, of Victoria State Energy, Environment and Climate Change. "It's about all manner of living things, from vegetation that actually supports animals to be able to live and survive and thrive in the wild, it is the whole ecosystem that needs the best opportunity to heal."

Healing help is also coming from thousands of miles away in New York where stuffed koala bears are grasping trees and posts.

"We really hit the pavement," volunteer Samantha Arena said. "We put up 100 koalas around NYC, an iconic location that would get the most foot traffic. So anywhere from Times Square to Washington Square Park to Columbus Circle, we really tried to hit New York City's hot spots that would get the most traffic and the most attention.

Attached to the bears are tags that help with the donation process to Australia's Animal Rescue.

"The tag has a qr code that links to a GoFundMe page where passersby could donate," Arena said. "The donations go directly to WIRES, Australia's largest wildlife organization."

Rescuers are very busy in koala hospitals, treating animals rescued but injured. Thousands of animals have died as well.

This heroic effort in the city began on Friday and has already raised more than $11,000.


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