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Australian hospital 'overwhelmed' by $1.4M+ in donations for koalas in wildfire zones

Animal lovers across the globe have come together to raise money for water stations for koalas who have been dehydrated in wildfires ravaging Australia.
(Port Macquarie Koala Hospital/GoFundMe)

Supporters from across the world have come together to help koalas affected by wildfires in Australia, generating nearly 60 times the amount of donations initially requested by a koala hospital.

A GoFundMe posted on Oct. 31 by the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital hoped to raise $25,000 for outdoor automatic drinking stations for dehydrated koalas.

About 50 wildfires in Australia have killed at least four people and destroyed more than 600 homes.

Blazes in the Port Macquarie area have "devastated" a genetically diverse koala population, killing as many as 350 of the small, furry marsupials, according to the hospital.

The hospital said prime koala habitat makes up about 75 percent of the fire's path, threatening the species' already dwindling numbers.

The animals stay hydrated almost entirely through the moisture from the eucalyptus leaf they eat, according to the organization's website.

Donations flooded the hospital's GoFundMe after the fundraiser was posted online. Within a month, the page had raised nearly 60 times its original goal of $25,000.

"We are overwhelmed and humbled with gratitude for the support and care shown by people from all over the world for our efforts to care for koalas now and to try to ensure that we still have koalas for generations to come," the hospital wrote on the page.

The organization said it plans to use the extra funds to buy more drinking fountains, purchase a fire-fighting water vehicle to replenish the water stations, support koala re-integration and develop a breeding program.