Desperate to run, nowhere to hide

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The Independent Culture
Animal lovers beware. Encounters: "Bushfires - Animal Rescue" (7pm C4) could have you reaching for the tissues as cuddly cuties run from the raging fires which habitually sweep across the vast tracts of Australia. Thousands can't run fast enough, and fall victim to the blaze and of those that do escape, thousands still are in a very poor state.

For once the cameras are not trained on the self-obsessed human race, which mainly suffers damaged property, but on those creatures who can't jump in a car, train or plane to hot-foot it to cooler spots.

Here the victims include koalas, possums, kangaroos and microbats, all with their own very serious problems of burns, smoke inhalation, dehydration and being orphaned, which, on a scale such as this, is bad news for the country's ecosystem. But it's great to see that in times of crisis everyone pulls together, even those of different species.

Needless to say, when the animal patients are eventually re-released into the wild, they scamper off with the air of having forgotten the months of human pampering they've revelled in while their carers are left drying their eyes.

Who knows, with more films like this and a bit of education there could be shift away from the standard moggy or canine pet towards the more vulnerable animals to be found in the back garden.