Crafters knit koala mittens, joey pouches for animals injured in Australian bushfires

Koala mittens and joey pouches: Australian bushfires spark knitting frenzy

Crafters across the globe are getting to work for a good cause to help koalas, joeys and other animals injured in the Australian wildfires.

The Animal Rescue Craft Guild has banded together in support of the country’s wildlife, ferociously knitting and sewing mittens and pouches for animals affected by the disaster.

The group is also making nests for smaller animals, as well as wraps for bats and diapers for younger creatures separated from their mothers.

The Facebook group is packed with pictures of crafters bent over sewing machines or smiling with their generous creations. Some are even travelling to the country to deliver the items.

The guild told Reuters on Monday that it’s been inundated with offers to help after putting a call out. Donations have come from places like Italy, England, Hong Kong, Germany and France, the news outlet reported.

“It’s been going crazy,” Belinda Orellana, a founding member of the guild, told Reuters. “The response has been amazing.”

READ MORE: ‘My hero’ — Horse guides Australian fleeing bushfires to safety at pub

Hundreds of bushfires continue to rage across Australia, and about 12.35 million acres of land have been burned in the process, killing and displacing countless animals.

Some experts estimate the number of domestic pets, wild animals and livestock killed in the fires could be up to half a billion.

“It’s the poor little souls that survived where we come in,” Orellana said. “Our group creates and supplies items to rescue groups and carers around the country who take in and care for the wildlife.”

The group was only created a few months ago and has since garnered 75,000 members and counting. It was originally meant to be a place to create dog and cat beds for animal shelters.

Kangaroo Island, often described as Australia’s Galapagos Islands, has been especially hard-hit. Over just a few days, the wildfires undid decades of conservation work.

Experts working on the island say the fires have killed thousands of koalas and kangaroos, and they are concerned none have survived.

READ MORE: Australia wildfires threaten endangered creatures on Kangaroo Island

“Caring for all these animals is quite amazing,” Sam Mitchell, co-owner of the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, told the Associated Press.

“However, we are seeing a lot that are too far gone. We are seeing kangaroos and koalas with their hands burned off — they stand no chance. It’s been quite emotional.”

As of Monday, torrential rains have been reported in New South Wales, which have helped bring relief to the country, BBC reported.

Officials warned of rising temperatures on Sunday evening as the country braces for another fight.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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