OAK GROVE, MO (KCTV) – Massive buushfires are causing a crisis in Australia where dozens of people have died, and more than one billion animals have perished. A local rescue who saves wildlife in the metro is making care packages for Australia.

Volunteers are knitting, crocheting and collecting pouches to send to Australia to comfort injured animals.

There is an urgent need to help save thousands of koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and other wildlife rescued from bushfires that ravaged Australia. In Missouri, rescuers who save our wildlife watched in disbelief as their Australian counterparts faced dangerous conditions to protect their wildlife.

“It was heart wrenching. It made us feel helpless,” Wild Souls Wildlife Rescue and Rehab Director April Hoffman said.

“We wanted to do something but what can we do? We started brainstorming,” Director of Transports for Wild Souls Wildlife Rescue and Rehab Director Cheyenne Cook said.

“Our team started rallying,” Hoffman said.

Wild Souls Wildlife Rescue and Rehab are working with Missouri Crafters Rescue to collect crochet and knitted blankets and pouches for rescued animals in Australia.

“Any orphans that are coming, it will help them feel protected and warm for their body to heal,” Hoffman said.

They are also sending medical supplies such as gauze, to treat burned animals who are getting treatment at an Australian rescue organization called Blessings of the Bush Koala. South Australia has already lost more than 50% of ITS koala population.

“I think a lot of them are going to become extinct or very endangered species because so many lives were lost,” Cook said.

Volunteers at Wild Souls Wildlife Rescue are asking anyone who wants to donate to send care packages for animals, first responders and rescuers in Australia to meet at their non-profit organization this Friday at 6 p.m. at 2200 S. Broadway in Oak Grove, Missouri. They are also holding a knitting class at their location at 6 p.m. next Tuesday.

“We knew that they would need as much help as possible,” Cook said.

“Even though we are in different countries we are still supporting each other,” Hoffman said.

People with the Kansas City Zoo are also lending a helping hand. They've raised almost $24,000 for relief and rehab. It started with a $5,000 donation from the zoo's conservation fund.

If you would also like to help, you can contribute to this fund at https://donate.zoo.org.au/donation

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