Little Koala Snuggles With A Stuffed Toy After Losing His Mom

It's been a difficult start to life so far for this orphaned baby koala, named Shayne. But things are now looking up - all thanks his new human caretakers, and a plush toy that's filling in for the mom he lost.

Nine-month-old Shayne was brought to the safety of the Australia Zoo's Wildlife Hospital recently after his mother was struck and killed by a car.

Incredibly, despite the fact that he'd been clinging to her at the time, Shayne suffered no physical injuries in the accident, but he still has unseen wounds that need healing.

"[H]e's dealing with the loss of his mum and the vital life lessons he needs to learn in order to become an independent, wild koala," hospital director Rosie Booth said in a release. "It's very fortunate that we had an observant rescuer who found Shayne and brought him into us because he wouldn't have lasted even a day in the wild by himself at his young age - now he gets a second chance at life."

Shayne is now receiving round-the-clock attention to make sure his body stays healthy enough to one day be released back into the wild. But his caretakers are mindful of his heart, as well.

That's why they gave him a mom-shaped toy to snuggle with in her absence.

Shayne is far from alone in his sad ordeal. This time of year, the wildlife hospital treats dozens of koalas, and other animals, every month who've suffered similar tragedies.

Click here to find out how you can help.

click to play video