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William And Kate Hear From Kangaroo Island Residents About Wildfire Impact

William And Kate Hear From Kangaroo Island Residents About Wildfire Impact
October 2, 2020 - 01:38 / Hayley Paskevich

During a video call on Thursday, Prince William and Duchess Kate learned about the impact this year's wildfires had on Kangaroo Island! William and Kate heard stories from residents of the area, and even virtually met a koala. Find out more here!

Prince William and Duchess Kate heard from several residents of Kangaroo Island during a special video call! As Hello! shares, the royal couple talked to first responders and business owners from the area on October 1, getting first-hand accounts of how the Australian wildfires have affected their lives.

William and Kate listen to stories from Australian locals

William and Kate sat and listened to numerous stories about how the Kangaroo Island community has come together in the aftermath of tragedy. One woman shared that she had lost her workshop due to the brushfires, along with her home and all the infrastructure of her farm.

"I've been a volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years," another woman told William and Kate during the call, "and I have never seen anything like this, and I never want to again." The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also found themselves introduced to a very special Kangaroo Island resident— one who happens to be a marsupial!

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet a koala while talking to a first responder on October 1, 2020.

William and Kate meet Grace the koala during their call

William and Kate were all smiles as they met Grace the koala, who they learned was brought to a wildlife park last month to be cared for! As Hello! mentions, the royal couple were told Grace has been becoming healthier over time, and the koala loves her bottle and sleeping! "She looks very well looked after," William said in response. "Grace looks like she has a very nice life there."

Kensington Palace made an Instagram post about the Duke and Duchess' video call, featuring a clip of their virtual koala encounter! "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge heard from local business owners and first responders from Kangaroo Island, a small community off the south of Australia, who were impacted by devastating bushfires earlier this year," the post read.

"Not only have they had to rebuild their lives from the wildfires, but they also had to manage to the spread of COVID-19, which has hugely impacted their desire get back to a normal life," it continued. "The bushfires caused significant damage to residents’ homes, livelihoods, along with thousands of animals and their habitats." 

"Its residents, joined by our friend Grace, have shown an incredible community spirit and continue to provide support to those in need." Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sent a special video message to Australian first responders from their home office, the timing coinciding with "Thank A First Responder Day". Watch as William and Kate meet Grace the koala here!