Emotional video footage from Australia shows two cousins driving around bushfire-devastated areas rescuing koalas in their car.
The footage, which was posted on Reddit by a third cousin, shows the car filled with frolicking animals after their rescue.
The short video was filmed on Kangaroo Island, a wildlife refuge off the country’s southern coast that is often seen as the Australian equivalent to the Galapagos Islands due to its rich biodiversity.
The island suffered enormous losses this past weekend after nearly half of it was destroyed in the fires.
However, the uplifting moments captured on film show that, thanks to the two teens responsible for the rescue—Micah, 19, and Caleb, 18—nearly 20 koalas have been rescued, according to LadBible.
Among the koalas rescued by the cousins were about six orphaned joeys and two who were mothers bearing children. The two teens hope that they can eventually return the koalas to their wild Kangaroo Island habitat.
The pair said that about 60 percent of the koalas they encountered had burned to death. Among those they saved, a fifth died within the first day after suffering fatal injuries.
This past weekend, an estimated 25,000 additional koalas burned to death—roughly half of the island’s population of 50,000—while wildlife experts and conservationists warned of other “catastrophic losses” including the elimination of entire rare species.
Last week, University of Sydney ecologists expressed fears that nearly half a billion animals—including 8,000 koalas—have been killed since the fires broke out in September. Over the weekend, an estimated 25,000 additional koalas burned to death when the fire extended to Kangaroo Island, potentially wiping out entire rare and endangered species.
The post was accompanied by the caption:
“Amid the terrible bushfires in Australia, my cousins went out and saved as many koalas as they could. Good on ’em.”
We certainly agree.