January 09, 2015 02:45 PM

Animal lovers around the world are picking up a needle and thread to help the numerous koalas injured in Australia’s recent surge of brushfires.

These good Samaritans are responding to a call for help from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which recently posted a plea for koala-sized mittens on its website.

“Many koalas perish in bushfires, while the lucky ones that survive are often badly injured and need intensive treatment by vets and dedicated wildlife carers,” the article explains.

“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. These injuries need treatment with burns cream and paws need to be protected with special cotton mittens.”

To make it easier for others to help, the IFAW has also posted a sewing pattern for koala mittens. The paw covers can be made out of towels or sheets, as long as the material is 100% cotton.

Mittens protect bandaged paws from getting infected and help the koalas heal faster. Because the mittens need to be changed on a regular basis, animal rescuers will need a plentiful supply.

Many have already started churning out the tiny mittens to send along to IFAW and have shared their contributions online.

@fran_maddock @Colvinius ! @fudgeh0g’s mum just made 64 koala paw mittens Via @Phil_diCosimo

Emilie (@paintsandsings) January 8, 2015


Handmade koala mittens

anita (@_upintheclouds) January 6, 2015


If you want to donate your own koala mittens, follow the template and send the final product to the address listed here.

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