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How Tippy the koala saved her joey from the flames

When fire roared through the town of Gelantipy last week, vets believe a koala named Tippy guarded her joey beneath her, protecting him from the searing flames.

Tippy suffered burns to her paw and singed her back, but she is expected to survive. The joey, 8-month old Jellybean, was unburnt, saved by his mother’s actions.

Ellen Richmond and Dr Meg Curnick of Zoos Victoria care for injured koalas Tippy and Jellybean in their mobile vet station.

Ellen Richmond and Dr Meg Curnick of Zoos Victoria care for injured koalas Tippy and Jellybean in their mobile vet station.Credit:Joe Armao

The mother and joey are some of the lucky koalas to survive the recent bushfires that are estimated to have killed tens of thousands of the marsupials.

Koalas tend to race to the top of trees when they become scared, according to veterinarian Meg Curnick, an ineffective strategy against flames which witnesses have described as being twice the height of eucalypts.

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