With Australia experiencing a record-breaking drought and harsh bushfires, koala populations have dwindled along with their habitat, leaving them “functionally extinct”. In a bid to save and rehabilitate the injured animals, an Australian koala hospital managed to raise over $1 million from donations over the course of just a few weeks.
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, an animal rehabilitation center located along the Australian coastline north of Sydney, created a GoFundMe page called “Help Thirsty Koalas Devastated by Recent Fires”. Initially, the goal was to raise $25,000 to create automatic drinking stations for koalas and other endangered wildlife to access in burnt areas. But within weeks donations soared past $1 million, making it the country’s second largest fundraising campaign since GoFundme was launched in the country three years go.
The large influx of donations helped them increase the number of drinking stations they can implement, and also helped them purchase a water-carrying vehicle to replenish the fountains as necessary.
Some of the funds were also being used to build a “Koala Ark,” which would help rehabilitate and encourage breeding amongst the recovering koalas before they can be returned to the wild.