Moved by news footage of the devastation caused by the 2020 Australian bushfires, wildlife artist Robert Oxley created an original artwork inspired by a real-life rescued koala.
The adorable Anwen was taken in by the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie after fires swept through New South Wales, destroying her home. It is believed that up to a third of the koala population has been lost in the crisis, leading experts like Dr Stuart Blanch of the World Wildlife Fund to call for the species to be listed as endangered.
Now recovering in the hospital’s rehabilitation yard, Anwen is back to climbing trees and is eating well. Her ears are singed, but her fur will grow back with time. Robert says: “It’s stories like this which inspire and encourage us to reach out and do what we can with what we have.”
All money from the sale of the piece went directly to the hospital.
"The money raised will provide a comfortable place for these animals to recover. I find myself privileged to be in a position to be able to donate alongside Castle Fine Art."
It was announced in March 2020 that New South Wales is now free from bushfires for the first time since July 2019. The natural disaster has destroyed 3,000 homes and up to a billion animals have been affected.
World Heritage areas damaged by the fire include the Blue Mountains and the Gondwana Rainforests. Koalas were in particular danger as their natural reaction to high temperatures is to climb higher to remain cool, which made rescue attempts more difficult.
One story which has captured hearts is that of a rescue dog named Bear, who became known as the 'Koala Detective' after helping to locate injured koalas.
26/12/2018Want to know what the psychedelic wildlife artist has on his playlist? Or who he'd invite for dinner? Read on to get the inside scoop on our Fine Art Collector cover star.
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