“Funf-sterne-hotel” for rescued koalas in australia

"The fire is growing, it can become unpredictable," warned the chief executive of the capital territory, andrew barr. The commissioner for disaster control, georgeina whelan, said that the fire in turn influenced the weather conditions. She warned that driving in the area was extremely dangerous.

In the capital region, the authorities had declared a state of emergency on friday. The flames have already reached 35.000 hectares of land destroyed, almost half the area of hamburg. In canberra and the surrounding area, where it is now summer, it is around 42 degrees and windy, which makes the situation even worse. In the state of new south wales, which surrounds the capital territory on all sides, more than 60 fires are currently burning.

In total, the fires in australia since september have already burned more than 12 million hectares of land (120.000 square kilometers) have been devastated, about one-third of germany's land area. At least 33 people lost their lives.

Heavy rainfall was reported saturday in the southern state of victoria with the capital melbourne. However, rain fell only in the west and south of victoria, while the fire continued in the east. "When it comes to weather, it's really a two-state payoff," said victoria's disaster management commissioner andrew crisp.

The bushfires not only affect people, but also animals. Koalas have been particularly hard hit and may have to be classified as "endangered" in parts of the country, according to environment minister sussan ley.

20 of the pouch suckers that narrowly escaped the devastating fires have now found a home in a building at australia's national university in the capital canberra. The scientists there speak of a "funf-sterne-koala-hotel". For the cute marsupials are well taken care of: they get their favorite food eucalyptus in great quantities, water and warm blankets to sleep on.

Eight of the koalas come from the tidbinbilla wildlife sanctuary near canberra and twelve from the two thumbs wildlife sanctuary and surrounding area, a known koala habitat about 100 kilometers away. James fitzgerald, owner of two thumbs, reports that he has already rescued animals from the reserve and brought them back when the danger seemed to have passed. But the flames returned and killed thousands of animals. Among them was the female koala greta, named after swedish climate activist greta thunberg. "It was one of the few growing koala populations, it's just terrifying," says ocologist Karen Marsh.

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