6 min read

Koala Saved From Wildfires Won't Stop Snuggling His Rescuers

“He didn't want to leave me" ❤️️

Bill Blair was capturing drone footage of the burnt terrain after wildfires raged through Australia when he suddenly spotted someone in need of help. Huddled at the base of a tree on Kangaroo Island was a little baby koala, all alone and so confused. Blair had been on his way back to his car when he noticed the little guy, and he immediately knew there was no way he could leave him behind. 

rescued koala
Bill Blair

“I remembered I was told when I arrived if I come across a koala at the base of a tree, it means it's got nothing left in the tank and needs help, toss something over it like a blanket or a shirt as it will calm it down,” Blair told The Dodo. “So I took off my shirt and placed it over the koala, picked him up and carried him back to the car with the drone in the other hand.” 

The koala wasn’t afraid as Blair approached him and scooped him up, and seemed to know that Blair was there to help him. All four of his tiny paws were burned, and it was a miracle he’d been able to survive on his own. 

rescued koala
Bill Blair

After loading the koala into his car, still wrapped up in his shirt, Blair started driving toward the makeshift koala hospital that had been set up on the island. He hadn’t been driving for very long when suddenly the koala popped his head out of the shirt, watched Blair for a bit and then decided to have a look around. 

rescued koala
Bill Blair

“Slowly he climbed out of my hat he was sitting in next to me and began exploring around the car, lots of looking out the window like a child,” Blair said. “Then when relaxed enough he came over and after climbing on the seat backs for a while, settled on my seat back just next to my shoulder and cuddled up.”

The little koala stayed that way for the rest of the car ride, all snuggled up next to Blair, so thankful to his rescuer for saving his life. 

rescued koala
Bill Blair

When the pair finally arrived at the hospital, Blair passed the koala off to the team so they could give him the care he needed — but both Blair and the koala were definitely reluctant to say goodbye.

“I think he seemed relieved I found him and certainly showed affection towards me,” Blair said. “He didn't want to leave me when I passed him over to the military nurse.”

rescued koala
Bill Blair

Luckily the orphaned koala was able to get the care and attention he needed to eventually be released back into the wild where he belongs, but there’s no doubt he’ll never forget the kind man who noticed him and took the time to help, just like so many other people across Australia. 

“They are doing an amazing job there, koalas and kangaroos were being brought in every day by locals,” Blair said. “To see all these people working together to help these animals was truly amazing. I'm so glad I could be involved in a small way.”

If you’d like to help the animals affected by the fires in Australia, you can donate to WIRES