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Making mittens for injured Koalas

Special to the Courier

Hot, blazing bushfires have come once again to Australia, leaving a swath of devastation and death in their path.
One of the most vulnerable victims of the country's cruel summertime conflagrations is the koala. In New South Whales alone, the majority of prime koala habitat at Pottsville on the Tweed Coast was recently destroyed by fire.
As the ravaged areas are opened to rescuers searching for injured koalas, the hope is that many survivors will be found. This means organizations such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) need your help now more than ever.
IFAW works to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals throughout the world by reducing commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats, and assisting animals in distress. They will be leading the effort to secure and distribute much-needed mittens for the injured koalas.
Mittens? Yes, mittens. The majority of injured koalas suffer severe burns to their paws due to contact with burning trees and brush. Treatment includes medicated cream applied to the affected paws as well as protective mittens to keep the healing tissue clean and free of infection.
One hundred percent cotton mittens, handmade by you, could mean the difference between life and death for these precious animals.
The mittens are simple to sew - simple enough for even the most challenged of seamstresses. They're quick to create, and can be made from any old dish towel or sheets if they're 100 percent cotton and clean. IFAW even provides a straightforward Injured Koala Mitten Pattern. And instructions
IFAW asks that you "send your mittens to IFAW, 6 Belmore Street, Surry Hills, Sydney NSW 2010 where they will be packaged then distributed to the "vets, vet nurses, and wildlife carers who help our native wildlife in times of crisis.
Directions for cutting and sewing a pair of koala mittens:
• Cut out the koala mitten template below. Place the template on a piece of clean, 100 percent cotton fabric, trace an outline and repeat four times. Cut out the four mitten shapes.
• Sew two pieces of fabric together where the grey dotted lines appear - around the sides and the top. Once the sides and top have been sewn together, leave the bottom of the material open for koala's paws to go inside.
• Use either leftover material or a piece of ribbon to create a tie. Attach the tie where the X in indicated on the diagram. Wrap the tie around the mitten and tighten to secure.
• Repeat the steps to create a second mitten.