The puppy who survived, and 21 other animal good news stories to come out of Australia's bushfires.

This bushfire season we’ve lost a staggering one billion animals, with that figure only expected to rise.

It’s a haunting number, and is particularly distressing when you consider the sheer vulnerability of a wild animal.

But among the confronting images we’ve all seen of dying, dead and desperate animals in recent weeks, there have also been incredible tales of strength, compassion and hope.

For months, rescuers have been working tirelessly to protect and save animals caught in Australia’s bushfires. These are just a few of their stories.

Angel, the miracle cat.

Angel’s family were forced to flee without her when their property in the Bega Valley caught alight, after she ran into nearby bushland as they were evacuating.

Somehow, she survived seven days in the middle of the firestorm, before making it back to her owners – singed but okay. Ben, her human, thinks she might have sought shelter down a wombat hole.

Angel, you are a miracle cat and we love you.


The car full of koalas.

This bunch of injured koalas were saved by two heroic cousins.

The teenagers filmed their journey as they loaded several koalas into their car on Kangaroo Island, sharing details of their rescue mission on Reddit.

“This is our little koala rescue,” a voice off camera says and MY GOSH, we are so in awe.

Watch the rescue here. Post continues after video.

Video via

The koalas rescued by a firey.

An image of six little shell-shocked koalas in a hallway is probably one you’ve seen on your feeds.


In December these guys were rescued in the Adelaide Hills by a firefighter who paused his fight on the flames to whisk them off to safety.

“Amazing work by a man named Adam and his mates who pulled these guys out of harms way at Cudlee Creek and into safety,” Janelle Michalowski wrote on Facebook alongside a photo of the scared koalas.

Patsy, the hero farm dog.

Six-year-old kelpie-border collie Patsy is a very good girl.

She’s been hailed a hero for helping to save a flock of sheep from the bushfires.

Her owner explains (on Patsy’s Instagram, of course) that she helped to round up the flock and get them to safety as the flames bared down on their farm in Corryong, Victoria.

“Patsy waited with him [one of her humans] until the fire got close enough to fight with a tractor and water pump,” it reads on social media.

“I’d have been stuffed without Patsy,” owner Stephen Hill told SBS News.

“She’s earned front-seat privileges for the rest of her life.”


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A post shared by Patsy The Wonderdog (@patsythecorryongwonderdog) on


Bear, the hero koala dog.

Speaking of heroes, THIS GUY.

Bear has a very important job – he’s a koala detection dog and has been very busy saving his friends up and down the east coast of Australia.

As a pup, Bear was abandoned due to his OCD, but now even actor Tom Hanks knows his name – and wants to make a movie about him.

We’ll be in the front row Bear. Promise.


The puppy who survived.

This little guy’s family had to evacuate their home in north-east Victoria, but couldn’t find their new puppy – who’d only joined their family at Christmas – as they left.

When they returned to their destroyed house, the little dog was still alive.

They raced him to the nearby Tintaldra Hotel and owner Darren Jones soaked him in cold water and applied burn gel to his wounds.

“We got him straight into the tub and got some cold water on his feet and we put some burn gel on and wrapped him up,” he said on social media.

“He basically had a drink of water and went straight to sleep.”

The koala driving a truck.

Nicknamed “Tinny arse” by her saviour human, this tiny koala is driving a water tanker and we simply can’t handle it.


Damian Campbell-Davys told The Sydney Morning Herald that he saw the koala emerge from a row of pine trees in Nerriga, in NSW’s south, and spent more than an hour helping it to drink water from his water bottle.

Damian Campbell-Davys rescued this little koala from the fires. Image: Facebook.

This kangaroo who let a human bathe him.

This tiny kangaroo let a teenager bathe his tiny burnt paws and pour water over his fire affected body.

All around the country right now we're seeing animals who are usually terrified of humans approach them for help.



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Aussie hero helps keep our ‘roos cool during the bushfire disaster. Pic: Matrix for Daily Mail Australia

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The man out in the bush searching for sick animals.

Meet Patrick Boyle.

The Mallacoota local is on a solo mission to save as many injured wildlife as he can.

The 22-year-old told the Today Show: “I’m a hunter – I’m one of the last people that others would expect to help these animals. Farmers, hunters and workers are the ones out there actually taking action right now.”

He's saved seven koalas, and yes, the world does need more Patricks.


The Irwin family.

Many of us would expect the Irwins to be doing everything they can right now, but they've managed to save over 90,000 injured wildlife.

“We will continue... being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can," Bindi Irwin wrote on Instagram.


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Blossom the possum was admitted to the #AustraliaZoo Wildlife Hospital after being caught in one of the bushfires burning in other parts of Queensland. We have such an incredible team who work day and night to protect gorgeous animals like Blossom. Devastatingly this beautiful girl didn’t make it even after working so hard to save her life. I want to thank you for your kind words and support. This is the heart-wrenching truth, every day is a battle to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Now more than ever we need to work together to make a difference and protect our Mother Earth. For more on how you can become a Wildlife Warrior visit ????????????

A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on


The cyclist interrupted by a koala.

Anna Heusler was riding with a group of friends in the Adelaide Hills when they came across a koala in the middle of the road.

"This koala walked right up to me as I was descending and climbed up onto my bike while I gave him water," she wrote on Instagram.

"There were about a dozen cyclists around me watching this (all men) and several commented that it was genuinely the best thing they've witnessed. What a truly wonderful experience."


More firefighters just being legends.

The kindness our firefighters are showing for our wildlife is melting our souls.

From Dean, who let a ringtail possum take a nap in his helmet:


To this firefighter helping a dehydrated koala discovered by crews out at the Cuddle Creek fire:

To this unnamed firefighter who let his little friend sit close-by while he tried to save his home:

CFS firefighter
A koala and firefighter watch the flames. Image: CFA.

Haze, the koala joey.

Haze weighs no more than half a bag of sugar. (HOLD US.)

The tiny koala joey's mother died in the New South Wales fires near Taree, and her baby would have died too if a firefighter hadn't plucked her from her mum's pouch.

She's now with Christeen and Paul McLeod, who are looking after 25 sick koalas at Koalas In Care. They've had to take the injured koalas into their loungeroom to make sure they can give them 24 hour help.

Haze the koala
Haze the koala is being looked after by a couple in Taree. Image: Sky.

The koala saved with a woman's shirt.

Toni Doherty took the shirt off her back to save a koala stuck in a tree, and was widely praised as a hero for saving 'Ellenborough Lewis,' as he was named by his carers.

Unfortunately Ellenborough's injuries were too great and he did not survive.

But Toni's act of kindness and bravery is still worth us including. This image has become iconic, and has been splashed across global media sites.

saving the koala
Toni risked her life to save an injured koala. Image: 9News.

Rusty and his new friend.


Rusty the dog was happy to let his new friend, a victim of the bushfires, share his water.

The police officer helping a kangaroo.

It's not just firefighters doing their bit for the animals - this NSW police officer was quick to offer this kangaroo a drink.


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Officers giving a helping hand to local wildlife in fire affected Bendalong. Our thoughts are with all those impacted.

A post shared by NSW Police Force (@nswpolice) on


A possum and her baby, having some cuddles.


This police officer and firefighter helped rescue a possum and her baby who climbed underneath a patrol vehicle.


The wildlife carers doing SO MUCH good for our amazing native animals.

Finally, here's a compilation of our amazing rescuers looking after injured animals.

Joeys rescued after the recent bushfires are seen at the home of carer Annie Williams in Gisborne, Australia. Image: Robert Cianflone/Getty.
Carer Annie Williams with a joey. Robert Cianflone/Getty.
Bushfires Continue To Burn On Kangaroo Island As Army Reserve Arrives To Assist Clean Up Operations
A volunteer wildlife carer feeds an injured koala joey at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. Image: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty.
Labour Leader Anthony Albanese Visits Adelaide Koala Rescue
Vet nurse Georgia Brown comforts Robert the Koala. Image: by Mark Brake/Getty.

To help the animals affected by the bushfires.


Donate to WIRES, who you can find them here.

Donate to Wildlife Victoria, who you can visit here.

Donate or adopt a koala at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, here.

Feature image: Getty/Twitter.

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