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Kindness during crises: Animal rescues

The news is often filled with depressing stories about tragedies, disasters and cruelty. However, occasionally even in the face of great challenges emerge stories of hope, kindness and compassion.

Images of bears and koalas, the two kinds of rescued animals mentioned in this article.
Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Cinder, the rescued bear, is a black bear cub.
Photo by China Photos/Getty Images

A recent article focusing on the wildfires currently raging in Methow Valley, Washington state, took just such an unexpectedly heartwarming turn when reports surfaced of an injured bear cub being aided by rescue teams. The bear, a 30+ pound female cub, was found badly burned. A compassionate member of the rescue party decided that the 18-month-old animal (who was found on the property of a house) could not be left to suffer and so the creature was bandaged, provided with medical care, and transferred to safety. During the process of the rescue, the bear was named “Cinder.” Currently, Cinder is in Lake Tahoe, California, receiving treatment. She is expected to make a full recovery.

For more on Cinder’s story (and a video), see here:

This touching story mirrors another incident that took place in Victoria, Australia, in February of 2009 when a wildfire, now known as the “Black Saturday bushfires,” ravaged the forests of Mirboo North. At the time of this crisis, a firefighter stumbled upon Sam, a female koala bear who was suffering from smoke inhalation, burns and dehydration. Although the fireman was also exhausted and thirsty, he stopped and offered Sam water from a bottle that he was carrying. The moment was captured on film via a cell phone and the images became an instant Internet sensation.

The firefighter, David Tree, initially asked another firefighter to take the video so that he could show it to his daughter who was very fond of koalas. What David Tree did not expect was for the video to go viral on YouTube and garner over 1.4 million views—making it a global sensation. Sam was rescued from the destroyed forest and taken to a wildlife center where her injuries were tended to.

The original video of Sam’s discovery and subsequent rescue can be seen here:

These stories prove that, even in times of great strife, people can be kind and compassionate even towards other species. They demonstrate the best aspects of mankind and are testaments to the importance of doing the right thing.

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