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Australian army soldiers cuddle, feed koalas rescued from bushfires

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Posted at 5:33 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 08:25:27-05

Soldiers with the Australian army came to the rescue of several hungry koalas saved from the bushfires ravaging the country.

Several servicemen and women were seen cuddling the koalas -- swaddled in blankets -- during feeding time at the Cleland Wildlife Park in Crafers, South Australia, in a photo posted to Instagram by the army on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of koalas have perished since the bushfires began in September. More than half of the population may have died, Sam Mitchell, co-owner of the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, told The Guardian earlier this month.

The slow-moving koalas are often unable to escape the flames fast enough as they burn from treetop to treetop.

Australians are doubtful that the country's wildlife will be able to fully recover as the fire season continues for several months. As many as a billion animals are feared dead, experts have estimated.