Sam the koala, snapped in a picture as she was drinking from a firefighter’s water bottle, has emerged from the devastation of the Australian wildfires to capture the hearts of people worldwide.
The fuzzy marsupial was discovered by firefighter David Tree, who initially thought Sam was a boy. Tree asked “You alright, buddy?” as Sam held his hand to drink thirstily from the bottle.
Sam has since been relocated to receive care for her scorched paws and has even found a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. The other koala, Bob, has replaced Tree in her heart as her protector.
Here’s the Today show interview with Tree below.
Thus far, the wildfires have claimed nearly 200 lives and has left 5,000 people homeless. Donations to help recovery efforts can be made through the American Australian Association’s Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund site.