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Koala love story touches hearts

A LOVE story between two badly burned koalas rescued from Australia's deadliest bushfires has provided some heart-warming relief after days of devastation and the loss of more than 180 lives.

The story of Sam and her new boyfriend Bob emerged after volunteer firefighter Dave Tree used a mobile phone to film the rescue of the female found in a burned out forest at Mirboo North, 150 kilometers southeast of Melbourne.

Photos and a video of Tree, 44, approaching Sam while talking gently to her, and feeding her water from a plastic bottle as she put her burned claw in his cold, wet hand quickly hit video sharing website YouTube, making the koala an Internet sensation.

But it was after reaching a wildlife shelter that Sam met and befriended Bob, who was saved by wildlife workers on Friday, two days before Sam, in Boolarra, about 180km from Melbourne.

Tree, who has been a volunteer firefighter for 26 years, said it was rare to get so close to a koala so he asked his colleague Brayden Groen, 20, to film him. "You can see how she stops and moves forward and looks at me. It was a look saying 'I can't run, I'm weak and sore, put me out of my misery,'" Tree said.


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