wildfires

Plush Koalas Spotted Hanging Out Around NYC

Each plush marsupial comes with a tag that has a QR code for people to donate to the group’s GoFundMe collection for WIRES, an Australian wildlife rescue organization

NBCUniversal

Don't be surprised if you see a koala hanging off a lamp post in Manhattan this week.

Thanks to Koalas of New York, a group dedicated towards raising funds for habitats and species affected by wild Australian wildfires, the furry friends can now be found all around the city.

From hanging around Central Park, gripping onto the Brooklyn Bridge and even lounging around Rockefeller Center, koalas have been snapped hanging out all around the city.

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Each plush marsupial comes with a tag that has a QR code for people to donate to the group’s GoFundMe collection for WIRES, an Australian wildlife rescue organization. As of Tuesday morning the group had raised more than $10,000.

The death toll in the Australian wildfires now sits at least 27, in a crisis that has destroyed more than 2,000 homes and scorched an area larger than the U.S. state of Indiana since September. Meanwhile, scientist Chris Dickman told NBC News he estimates that more than a billion animals have been killed by the fires.

"What we’re seeing are the effects of climate change,” Dickman said in a statement. “Sometimes, it’s said that Australia is the canary in the coal mine with the effects of climate change being seen here most severely and earliest … We’re probably looking at what climate change may look like for other parts of the world in the first stages in Australia at the moment.”

Images of affected koalas have become a rallying symbol of the destruction in Australia.

To find out where to spot the koalas around New York, donate and more visit koalasofnyc.com or follow the Instagram page @koalasofnyc. And for other ways to help the victims and volunteers of the Australian wildfires, click here.

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