With deadly fires, floods, snakes, spiders, and sharks, rescue workers in Australia are trained to respond to a wide variety of emergencies.
Still, it’s not every day they’re called upon to give CPR to a koala.
In amazing footage from Melbourne last week, wildlife worker Michelle Thomas gives a heart massage and “mouth-to-nostril” resuscitation to a koala after it fell 32 feet from a eucalyptus tree.
Thomas, who has experience in giving mouth-to-nostril recitation to dogs, told reporters she “figured it worked the same way” and “wasn’t going to loose a healthy koala for this reason.”
The Koala sustained serious injuries the day before after being hit by a car, the Herald Sun reported.
When a local resident noticed it had been unable to move from a tree by the side of the road, they called the local Fire Brigade.
Not Sir Chompsalot
The animal was initially thought to be Sir Chompsalot, a koala known to local authorities. However, since being taken into care, first responders admitted on Facebook he was misidentified.
Sir Chompsalot remains at large and is presumed healthy.
Carers have named the injured koala Sean after the leader of the fire response team, Captain Sean Curtain. Here’s how the incident unfolded:
Fire Crews attempt to retrieve Sean the koala from a eucalyptus tree by the road.
Sean falls 32 feet, but lands on an outstretched fire blanket.
Wildlife rescuer Michelle Thomas places Sean in the first-aid recovery position.
According to first-aid procedure, Thomas checks the airways are clear and tries to find a pulse.
With no signs of life, Thomas begins mouth-to-nostril resuscitation. Responders pump Sean’s chest to encourage circulation.
Fire fighters administer oxygen. In most cases, CPR must be continued until the heart can be restarted with an electric defibrillator.
In this case, CPR is successful immediately, and Sean begins breathing on his own.
Sean is recovering under the care of Animalia Wildlife Shelter, a donor-funded organisation in Melbourne.
Carers discovered Sean had a cataract in one eye and have performed surgery to remove it. After recovery, he will be returned to the wild.
The full video can be seen here:
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