This guy documented the incredible rescue of 74 koalas from the bushfires

Despite the immense loss caused by the Australian bushfires over the last few months, we have witnessed the inspiring strength of community in the face of the tragedy. An outpouring of charity has emerged from all corners in order to raise funds to support those hit hardest by the devastation.

But there have also been individual examples of sacrifice and courage, and below is one such story. Meet Kai. He helped rescue 74 koalas in the bushfires.

kai, rescue koalas, bushfires

Kai Wild, a professional tree climber from NSW, travelled 1,500 km to help rescue 74 injured and starving koalas from the bushfires on Kangaroo Island.

Kai travelled more than 1,500 km from Sydney to Kangaroo Island in order to make an individual contribution to helping animals caught in the fires. After making the journey of over 18 hours, the professional tree climber joined The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park rescue teams on the island to save koalas who were stuck in trees or were left injured, suffering from burns and smoke inhalation.

There are estimates that around 50, 000 koalas inhabited the island prior to the bushfires. It’s thought that approximately 35,000 have died so far.

Kai documented the rescue efforts on his Instagram, at various points describing the anguish of seeing the bodies of koalas who hadn’t survived strewn across the landscape: “Today was another pretty tough day emotionally and talking and crying are definitely the way to get through this in one piece I reckon.”


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3 weeks, 62 koalas in. #koalas #wildliferescue #treeclimbing

A post shared by Kailas Wild (@kailaswild) on

After spending over a month trudging through burned and ruined bushland searching for koalas to rescue, Kai is returning to Sydney. He has saved a total of 74 koalas.

“What I’ve really learnt is that the enormity of the situation is just so beyond anything that anyone has been prepared for,” he described. “This whole situation is far from over, especially if you consider it within the wider context of what is happening elsewhere in Australia and the world.”

Check out some of the amazing photos from Kai’s rescue efforts below.

You can donate to Kai’s fundraising page here and be sure to follow his Instagram account for updates.


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A post shared by Kailas Wild (@kailaswild) on