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Crafters Caring for Koalas

Everyone loves koalas. They look adorable, or perhaps we think that because so many toy koalas nestle on childish pillows. They are in fact gentle quiet creatures. They live in eucalyptus trees in my native Australia, sleep most of the time, and move slowly. So when bushfires ravaged the state of South Australia at the beginning of January, many of these animals were trapped, or, trying to escape, burned their paws. Rescuers found infant koalas clinging to burned trees and crying for their mothers. Volunteers in animal shelters made cotton paw protectors for the little marsupials. The idea was to help the burn cream applied by veterinarians to stay on so the burns would heal faster. Then, the International Fund For Animal Welfare put out a appeal for more mittens. It published a template for making the mittens from 100 percent cotton. Within days, there were mittens sent from all over the world. A week later,  the IFAW said, “Enough already!”  And asked animal lovers who could  sew to make pouches for baby kangaroos (“joeys”) whose mothers were dead or injured in the fires. Joeys can use up to six cotton pouches a day. Think diapers and you have the idea.  You can find detailed instructions on how to sew joey pouch liners at the IFAW’s website here.

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