A Queensland police officer has been praised for rescuing a mother koala and her joey from the bushfires raging in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Jimboomba police officer Darren Ward discovered the koala and her baby in shock, clinging to a fallen branch on the ground, on Friday night.
"There was singeing to the fur, and singeing to the ears… but the baby seemed quite well protected," he told ABC News.
The native animals were moved to the back of the officer’s police car before Wildcare Australia volunteers came to collect the pair.
The rescue group shared a photo of the marsupials to Facebook on Saturday.
“They were taken to the RSPCA Queensland Wildlife Hospital for treatment and are being monitored closely. They are both in a stable condition at present,” the group posted on social media.
The RSPCA's Michael Beatty told ABC News rescuers named the mother, Aisling, and her joey, Rupert.
"The joey is going okay and is suckling well, but the mum is still a little up in the air, but she's stable," he said.
Many praised the volunteers and rescuers for looking out for our native animals.
“Thank you to all involved in getting these precious two the help they need,” one person wrote.
“Sending our Wildcare volunteers on the ground all the support. It’s going to be a tough weekend.”
“Thank you for what you do,” a woman wrote on Facebook.
“Glad they were found and saved... very sad for all the wildlife,” another added.
Wildcare urged those in bushfire areas who come across injured wildlife to call the organisation on (07) 5527 2444.
Heavy winds fan Australian bushfires
Bushfires have started earlier than normal in Queensland and NSW, prompting fire service warnings.
A total of 21 properties have been destroyed so far in Queensland.
Meanwhile in NSW, a handful of homes have been lost or damaged by fire, and a volunteer firefighter was critically injured on Friday with burns to his hands, arms, legs, back, face and airways while he fought a fire south of Tenterfield.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned of damaging winds, with peak gusts of about 90 kilometres an hour along the east coast of NSW for Monday.
The wind was expected to ease on Tuesday.
Winds are being driven by a deep low pressure system over the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand and a high pressure system off the south coast in the Great Australian Bight, the Bureau said.
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