If you’ve been watching the news over the last few days, you would have seen the devastating effect that the South Australian and Victorian bushfires have had on local koalas. Now there’s something fun you can do to help the little guys — sew mittens!

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is asking people to make and donate cotton mittens for injured koalas whose paws have been burnt in the bushfires that have swept across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales over the past week.

“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 IFAW says.

“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.”

The mittens must be made from clean, 100 per cent cotton — old sheets, tea towels and cotton t-shirts are ideal.

The IFAW has supplied an easy koala mitten pattern you can follow. Each mitten takes only minutes to make, even if you’re not an experienced sewer. There are detailed, easy-to-follow instructions here.

Koala Mittens

International Fund for Animal Welfare

Once you’ve sewn your mittens, send them to the IFAW at 6 Belmore Street, Surry Hills 2010.

The mittens will be distributed to where they’re needed most — to vets, vet nurses and wildlife carers.

For more information on the IFAW’s koala mitten appeal, click here.