Jeremy the koala is healing nicely after his paws were burned in last week’s wildfires in suburban Adelaide, and an Australian wildlife group is pushing back against a brief campaign to get well-meaning animal-lovers to sew mittens for injured marsupials.
“Koalas are especially vulnerable because they live in trees, which are the very fuel for the fires, and koalas just aren’t very fast,” Climate Desk reports. But the Australian Marine Wildlife Research and Rescue Organization (AMWRRO), which first published photos of Jeremy recovering from “second-degree partial thickness burns,” says the mittens are unnecessary and may even hinder the koalas’ recovery.
“Please note AMWRRO does not require mittens, as they impede the animals’ ability to hold leaf and branches, versus that of specific bandaging techniques as shown in previous images,” the organization warned on its Facebook page.
The mitten appeal was mounted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which is now turning its attention to possums, kangaroos, and wallabies at risk from wildfires.