THE Port Macquarie Koala Hospital are no strangers to helping koalas in need.
And they are extending a hand, with a mitten to the slow moving koalas who were not fortunate enough to escape the ravages of the bushfires in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
Out of the tragedy has come some good news, with International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) turning to the community for help in mending the wounds of fire-affected koalas.
It comes in the way of special mittens which help koalas' paws recover from burns as they traverse fire-affected areas. The special mittens protect their paws while they heal and allow th koalas to climb with some ease.
IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats.
Koala hospital supervisor Cheyne Flanagan said once the mittens had been sewn they could be distributed to IFAW in Sydney.
When koalas suffer burns, usually caused by contact with burning trees or from fleeing across fire scorched ground, they would require treatment with burns cream.
"Because koalas climb, once their paws are burnt they can't do that anymore, but these mittens allow for free movement," she said.
"We need to keep their paws clean and sterile because we can't do skin grafts. And if we can't do skin grafts the other option if they can't climb is for us to euthanase them.
"But if we can stockpile these mittens we can then ship them off to wherever they're needed."
Mittens can be sent to 6 Belmore Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010.