Prince William and Kate Middleton gush over 'sweet' Grace the koala

G’day, mates! Prince William and Kate Middleton gush over ‘sweet’ Grace the koala in a video call with Australia’s Kangaroo Island to learn about the impact of the wildfires

  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to people on Australia’s Kangaroo Island
  • Heard about how 48% of the island was affected by the bushfires earlier this year
  • Kate and William appeared in excellent spirits and were introduced to a koala 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were introduced to an adorable koala during a video call to learn about the lasting impact of the Australian wildfires. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton last week spoke to local business owners and first responders from Kangaroo Island, South Australia, to hear about how residents, wildlife and the local economy were affected when the island was ravaged by bushfires in January. 

Kate, 38, radiant in a favourite yellow Dolce & Gabbana dress, beamed as wildlife park owner Dana Mitchell held a koala named Grace close to the camera for the royal couple to see.

‘Oh look!,’ she said, as Grace was brought out of her enclosure. ‘So sweet.’

Smiling Prince William, 38, leaned in towards the screen to get a better look of their furry special guest and said: ‘She looks like she’s being very well looked after. Grace looks like she has a very nice life there.’ 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were introduced to an adorable koala during a video call to learn about the lasting impact of the Australian wildfires. Kate, 38, beamed as wildlife park owner Dana Mitchell cradled a koala joey close to the camera for the royal couple to see

Dana provided vital care to hundreds of animals harmed during the fires and spoke about how the Island’s wildlife was affected. Pictured, introducing a koala to the couple on the call

Introducing the animal, Dana said: ‘So this is Grace. She came in about a month ago now. She’s gaining weight pretty well and loves her bottle and pretty much sleeps all the time.’

Dana provided vital care to hundreds of animals harmed during the fires and spoke about how the Island’s wildlife was affected, including the devastating impact on its koala population, and the work that is being done to reintroduce rescued animals back into the wild and restore their natural habitats. 

Approximately 48 per cent of Kangaroo Island was affected by bushfires over the course of several weeks, leading to the loss of two lives and significant damage to residents’ homes and livelihoods. 

During the call, The Duke of Cambridge said: ‘It’s fantastic to hear about the community spirit in Australia as always, which is what Catherine and I see when we come down there. Aussies are very good at looking out for each other and it’s fantastic to see that you’re all pulling together.’ 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to business owners and local residents on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, about the lasting impact of January’s wildfires

Captain Mike Swayne, who spent five weeks fighting the fires as a volunteer for the South Australian Country Fire Service, outlined during the call the difficulties faced by first responders on the ground, including the weather conditions and the speed at which the fires spread. 

Prince William and Kate also heard about the work of a taskforce set up by the Australian Defence Force as part of the national response, providing support to local emergency services and affected communities in South Australia. 

The Duke and Duchess praised the efforts of all those who had worked to tackle the spread of the fire and protect the island’s residents in the most challenging of circumstances.

January’s bushfires also resulted in the loss of thousands of animals and widespread damage to their habitats on Kangaroo Island, which is one of Australia’s most important wildlife sanctuaries. 

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