A youngster was so moved by the plight of koalas during the Australian bushfires that she has launched a fundraising campaign to help save the animals.
Izzie, aged five, from Sawtry, has set a £500 target on JustGiving, and has already made £340 towards the protection and care of koalas, as well as research into the creatures.
Mum Emma Wyse explained that Izzie had been on a visit to her uncle in Melbourne, Australia, at Christmas when she was taken to Melbourne Zoo and saw her first koalas. She fell in love with the animals and decided to start fundraising to help protect them.
Emma said the trip coincided with the outbreak of bushfires which had a devastating effect on Australia’s wildlife, including koalas whose numbers in the wild had fallen from 100,000 to 43,000 and were now “functionally extinct”.
She said Izzie had joined the Koala Army as part of the Australian Koala Foundation to help protect the koalas and their habitat, including planting the correct trees for their homes.
“She set up her stall at the end of our driveway on the morning of Saturday, June 27 but the wind blew our gazebo over and then the heavens opened many times so we continued with our sales from inside,” Emma said.
“We made and sold over 250 freshly-made scones, and with people’s very generous donations, Izzie raised a grand total of £256 in one weekend. She took more orders for fresh scones this weekend and has now raised a grand total of £340. She’s done so well.”
Emma said her daughter, who had seen the likes on her Facebook page go up from 40 to more than 360, had further fundraising events planned.
Izzie has been sent a certificate from Caversham Wildlife Park in Western Australia thanking her for her good work and has received Facebook messages from as far away as Perth. She has also been featured in the Australian Koala Foundation’s newsletter.
Emma said she was now planning to take Izzie and her sister Poppy, 3, to Longleat Zoo to see the only koalas in England.
Donations can be made at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/izzieskoalaarmy?utm_term=QGVWpxyqd.