The Soggy Koala Of South Australia Inspires Koala Rescue Fundraising

Jimmy the koala became an international poster boy for needy koalas.

22/09/2016 12:32 AM AEST | Updated 22/09/2016 11:46 AM AEST
Russell Latter

Jimmy the soggy koala became an international poster boy for troubled koalas after he was rescued from South Australian floodwaters and his face appeared in hundreds of newspapers around the world.

Now the endearing photo is being used to spearhead a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for needy SA koalas.

When Russell Latter spotted Jimmy, a distraught and soggy koala, trying to escape the floodwaters near Stirling, SA, on September 14, his photograph became front page news and quickly went viral. Latter found his photo in newspapers in India, the U.S., London, Ireland, Singapore and New Zealand.

Russell Latter
Here's Jimmy after Russell Latter guided him across the road away from the worst of the floodwaters. He's looking around for a tree to climb up...and very soon he is up the tree and dry again!

Latter noticed the wet koala 'Jimmy' near Carey Gully Road at Stirling sitting on fence and stranded as water rose around him. He got out of his car and managed to guide him across the road where he was last seen climbing up a tree to safety.

Latter told The Huffington Post Australia he sent his photo of Jimmy to The Advertiser in Adelaide to see if they wanted to use it.

"Little did I know they had put it on the front page! The next morning the calls started from all around Australia and then from London, New York and Singapore, to name a few. I was amazed that people everywhere were keen to see my photo of a wet koala in a flood," Latter said.

In the aftermath of the flooding, Latter decided to contact Fauna Rescue, a volunteer organisation caring for sick, injured and orphaned koalas.

"I'd heard of the great work they do and thought with all this attention for Jimmy I should start a fund raising project for them. With the GoFundMe project, I hope to raise enough funds to take the financial pressure off the volunteers," Latter said.

"The response has been great so far and very positive. Every little bit helps."

To support South Australian koalas, please visit Jimmy's GoFundMe page.

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