If this isn’t an “awwwww…” moment, I don’t know what is. This koala was later rescued and named “Sam”, even though she’s female. Apparently koalas aren’t particularly friendly and must not appreciate being turned over so their private parts can be peeked at and categorized. At least while they’re awake.
The occasion here is the massive wildfires occurring in Australia, some of which are thought to be arson. An estimated two hundred people and a million animals are thought to have been killed. The volunteer firefighter in the picture came upon this koala sitting on the ground, her feet scorched. The fact that she took water from him was amazing, but the fact that she put her right paw in his left hand is more so. He believes that because his hand was cool, putting her paw in his hand gave her some relief from the pain.
Sam is now in a wildlife shelter where she’s made friends with “Bob”, who was also burned but not quite so severely. In the photo below, Bob has his paw on Sam, who is lying down with her feet in little pink bandages.
Not being a religious person, when I see that first picture there are nevertheless echoes for me from my past of the Biblical phrase, Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these, my Brethren, ye have done it unto me. Our greatest accomplishment as human beings in my view is our ability to rise above the Kill or Be Killed mentality. A firefighter with nothing to gain personally, stopped to help a helpless creature. This is what we can uniquely do.