This image shows a big-hearted firefighter giving water to an adorable armadillo cub after it approached him in an area devastated by flames in a state ravaged by the Amazon rainforest fires.
This picture of the firefighter, Sergeant Pedro Ribas Alves with the armadillo was taken between the municipalities of Nova Mutum and Sao Jose do Rio, in the western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.
One of his colleagues, Captain Eraldo Moura explained to local media that the armadillos were one of the few signs of life in an area of 766 hectares following the fire which happened on 18th July.
Fire crews made the discovery when they returned to inspect the area on 16th August.
He added: “We firstly offered water from a hydration pack but the cub would not drink from it. We bathed the cub, then used a glass, which the cub accepted to drink from.”
Firefighters who shared the photo on social media commented: “We did not do this to appear [in the media], it was a question of humanity.”
Alves and Moura claimed that they also found burnt birds and other animals that were unable to escape the fire.
Alves explained to BBC Brazil that his work is to check areas damaged by fires and look for the fire’s origin to report it to the police.
According to Alves, the fire of Nova Mutum was caused by a few issues with the electrical grid, when the electricity company went to do maintenance work, a short-circuit started the fire.
Alves added: “It is very sad to see the forest totally destroyed, it is heartbreaking.”
According to the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, the Amazon is home to of 2.5 million insect species, 2,500 fish species, more than 1,500 birds, 550 reptiles and 500 mammals. It also has 30,000 plant species.
It is unclear whether the cub has been transferred to a safer area or shelter.
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