Love from tragedy
No doubt you have heard about the tragic bushfires that blazed their way through townships in Victoria, Australia – leaving 181 people dead, although officials think the toll could climb to 300. Nine hundred homes have been razed to the ground in these “Hell on Earth” bushfires, which are the deadliest in Australian history. 7000 or so survivors are camping out in tents. All their treasured possessions up in smoke. Loved ones dead. I cannot begin to tell you how this has affected Australians.
There was a perfect storm on February 7 – sky high temperatures, the highest ever recorded in Melbourne (46.4C or 115.5F) and strong winds fanning the inferno, sending it hurtling towards the towns of Kinglake and Marysville. Families were caught with no time to flee because the fires moved with such speed. I’m sure to the people engulfed in these deadly fires it must have seemed like Armageddon. We live in the bush with a national park right behind us and it was about 44C on the same day where we live in New South Wales – so we were a tad nervous.
There’s a suggestion that some of the fires were lit by arsonists. If so, then I hope they are tracked down and prosecuted. Even our Prime Minister has uttered the phrase “mass murder”. You can donate money to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Last I read, donations had exceeded AU$100 million – Australians are at their best when there’s a tragedy like this and we need to pull together. The outpouring of generosity has been great to see.
Anyway, I don’t wish to dwell on all this because out of tragedy touching stories can emerge and ThinkingShift reader, Oohlala from Thailand, has alerted me to a great story. You can read the full story here but in a nutshell this is what happened.
Two badly-burned koalas have fallen in love and a volunteer firefighter has been privileged to care for one of these koalas in its time of greatest need. Sam is a female koala burnt in the Victorian blaze and disoriented. David Tree is a volunteer firefighter who came across Sam cowering in a burnt out forest area. From a plastic bottle, he gave Sam water as she placed her burnt paw in his hand. For those who know what koalas are like, this is a rare action for a koala to have such contact with a human. You can watch the video below but warning, it will bring you to tears. As Tree says:
“You can see 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”.
Sam was then taken to an animal shelter where she fell in love with Bob, another poor koala who had been burnt in the inferno. One of the people at the shelter has 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”.
Both koalas are doing well and are a symbol of the courage and spirit of Australia in one of its darkest hours. Thanks to Oohlala for telling me about this story.
UPDATE: Sam now has her own Facebook page.