Since last week r/wallstreetbets has been donating to a gorilla conservation en masse. Now Australian reddit traders, r/ASX_Bets are also getting in on the action, donating funds to help save koalas.
ASX_Bets is coming for the koalas
At the time of writing the r/ASX_Bets subreddit is full of koala adoption certificates posted by members of the group.
The vast majority are donating to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. Established in 1973 and managed by Koala Conversation Australia, it aims to care for injured koalas as well as conserve their native habitat.
The hospital has also been focusing on helping to regenerate burnt bushland caused by the 2019-2020 bushfires.
“Other important ancillary work such as koala care, rescues, the 24 hour rescue telephone line, home care, tree planting, plantation care, Hospital maintenance and fundraising is done by dedicated volunteers without whom the Hospital could not survive,” the website reads.
Donations are also being made to Port Stephens Koalas, which rescues, treats and rehabilitates endangered koalas. The subreddit also reveals that donations are being made to funds that help protect other Australian mammals such as bilbies and wombats.
The subreddit also contains references and memes relating to NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian. Back in 2020 the Premier was dubbed ‘Koala Killer’ by Jordan Shanks, aka FriendlyJordies, in the wake of the 2019-2020 bush fires.
This was due to Fire and Rescue having its capital expenditure budget cut by $28.5 million in the 2019-2020 NSW State Budget. The Rural Fire Service also had its budget cut by 75 per cent, which equated to $49.9 million.
According to The Guardian, 61,000 koalas were killed or injured during the devastating fires and 143 million other native mammals being impacted overall.
The Premier faced further backlash in November 2020 after firing parliamentary secretary, Catherine Cusack , for voting against the Liberal government’s proposed land clearing bill.
The bill would have exempted rural landholders from recognising an expanded definition of a koala habitat under the koala state environmental planning policy. It also would allow rural landholders to clear up to 25 metres of from the fence line of their property.
It’s currently unclear how much donations from the r/ASX_Bets community has raised for the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. Gizmodo Australia has reached out to the organisation for comment.
It started with r/wallstreetbets
Donations towards various koala protection organisations seems to be off the back of a similar initiative by r/wallstreetbets.
Back in January the subreddit became internet-famous after short squeezing Gamestop stock, causing huge profit losses for hedge fund, Melvin Capital. This also resulted in a class action lawsuit against Robinhood after the app began capping the amount of GameStop stock that could be bought.
Last week the group began to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. It has since been revealed the foundation received $US333,000 in donations over a single weekend.