Newspaper Report Correction
A recent newspaper report quoted us as saying “Because koalas climb, once their paws are burnt they can’t do that anymore but these mittens allow free movement”. “We need to keep their paws clean and sterile, because we can’t do skin grafts, the other option if they can’t climb is for us to euthanise them, but if we can stockpile these mittens we can then ship them off to wherever they are needed”, end of quote. Unfortunately this quote was also included in the last issue of ‘Gum Tips’.
What we actually said was that koalas often suffer severe burns injuries to their hands and feet. Often these injuries are so severe, that once they have healed, they are unable to climb tree and are not releasable back into the wild. In many cases it is far kinder to euthanise the koala rather than allowing this koala to have a lifetime of pain. It is neither financially possible nor kind for koalas and other wildlife to go through some of the human burns treatment interventions (which can continue throughout life), such as skin grafts etc.
The Koala Hospital does use mittens for covering the healing burns injuries on hands and feet at various stages of their treatment. IFAW is stockpiling mittens to ship out to various koala carers throughout Australia when the need arises.