Stuffed koalas have been appearing in New York City, hugging lampposts, trees, fences and subway railings, as part of a campaign to raise money for Australia's wildlife.
The catastrophic bushfires that have been burning all over Australia for months have had a devastating impact on its wildlife, with more than a billion animals thought to have died. One-third of New South Wales' entire koala population has been wiped out. Habitats have been charred. Critical feeding areas have been lost, and ecologists have serious concerns about the future of the country's wildlife.
The international community has been quick to respond with people from all over the world donating to charities and organisations involved in rescue and conservation efforts. The latest group to get involved is Koalas of NYC, who launched a cute campaign in New York this week by spreading stuffed koalas around busy parts of the city. Attached to the koalas' paws are little notes explaining how people can donate with a QR that directs people to the GoFundMe page.
It's an initiative from the New York office of the Australian creative agency Cummins&Partners, who came together this week to spread the word about the bushfires and raise money. All proceeds will go to the charity WIRES (Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service), the largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity in Australia, staffed entirely by volunteers.
So far this bushfire season 28 people have died, including brave volunteer firefighters and more than 100 fires are still burning across Australia. For ways to help, see here.