Koalas May Not Need Tiny Mittens for Burned Paws After All

2 minute read

If you tell the Etsy-loving people of the internet that injured koalas need little mittens to help their burned paws heal, your request for gloves will apparently be answered overnight.

Thursday, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) asked the public to make special mittens to koalas that had been injured in the brushfires raging throughout Southern Australia. The organization even provided a pattern.

“Injured koalas typically come into care with severe burns, especially on their paws, caused by contact with burning trees or from fleeing across fire grounds,” the IFAW told the Guardian.

“These injuries need treatment with burns cream and paws need to be protected with special cotton mittens. Just like any burns victim, koalas’ dressings need changing daily, meaning a constant supply of mittens is needed by wildlife carers. Some burned koalas can take up to a year to fully recover.”

Come Friday, the IFAW tweeted that their call for mittens had been met with an outpouring of tiny marsupial paw-protectors:

But while the mittens might be cute, they may be totally unnecessary — or so the Australian Marine Wildlife Research & Rescue Organization would have you believe.

“Mittens are NOT required as these will only impeded the animals ability to eat or hold onto trees limbs whilst in care,” the organization wrote in a Facebook post urging people to donate money rather than bust out their sewing machines.

The Daily Dot notes that the confusion is reminiscent of the conflicting reports as to whether oiled penguins actually need small knit sweaters in their cleaning and recovery.

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