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Our Apologies to Sam, Australia

2/11/2009 1:10 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

We officially apologize for poking fun at Sam, the koala rescued from the fires in the Australian wilderness. Sam was photographed drinking bottled water and we made a joke....and it was out of line.

Sam The Koala
Turns out lil' Sam suffered burned paws and was taken to the Mountain Ash Wildlife Shelter -- nothing funny about that. But since she's been at the shelter, Sam has drawn the attention of a male koala named Bob. The two are now said to be inseparable.

We made a joke about Sam drinking bottled water and then going to pilates and eating sushi. Bad joke, bad us.

Launch Photos

1092 COMMENTS

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61.

yeahriiiiight    

Thanks for the apology, Now can you please apologize to everyone for posting S**T about the blonde girl and her husband(not) Spencer and Heidie(sp) Make them go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2051 days ago
62.

Twinker    

Do I smell roasted Barbie on the barbie, mate?

2051 days ago
63.

shaerose    

I can tell you as an Aussie living in California the article slamming the efforts of firefighters (all volunteer by the way) having to work incredibly hard to save what they can with little or no sleep also knowing hundreds of lives were lost, towns were wiped out, is highly indicative of the heartless attitude rife in this country. The apology is one thing but understanding that for those that live on it is going to take every bit of inspiration out there. Why is it that a celebrity losing a home in the recent Southern California fires brings about support and displays of grief yet the everyday people who give their hard earned money to support their lifestyle bring about the heartless sarcasm in the name of fame! I am disgusted no apology is worth its weight by a few lines - how about transparency - how about you personally donate some of your money to help out hey? Like to see that!
By the way - do you realise that Australian firefighters fought to control the fires here and all voluntarily!

2051 days ago
64.

UhDuh    

This story brings tears to my eyes. It is so sweet! When I first saw the video of the man giving her the water on MSN, I just about died. They say it is very rare for a koala in the wild to approach a human. Yet Sam was so tired and hurt that she reached out and put her little paw into a man's hand. I am glad such a nice story can come out of such a tragic event.

2051 days ago
65.

terradale    

Thank your Harvey & TMZ for apologizing. Altho, I know apologizing is easy..:) Use it myself in many corporate situations. Always surprised how easy it works. Now, if you were to apologize directly to the Melborne Herald Sun and set up a relief fund for all koalas hurt in this fire - I can forgive. I'm thinking matching dollar for dollar here. I thought about all animals - you know, those unique to Australia: kanagroos, wombats, platapuses, etc hurt in these devastating fires... but, then again, that would be a bit much to do any real good. Each animal lover and their organization needs to take up the cause close to their own heart. (Altho, the though of kanagroos and other god's creature's running for their lives, not knowing where to turn and burning to death haunts me.) But, you have inadvertantly chosen your cause and please rectify the tried and true image of American's caring... no matter of how down and out we are at this moment in time.

2051 days ago
66.

Noah O'Toole    

I read TMZ daily and support your website but your comment on that poor koala yesterday made me IRATE and SHAME ON YOU for your lack of compassion and insensitivity during such a horrendous natural disaster. However thank you for admitting that was in poor taste and not funny and thank you for your apology. To further make up for it you should post a link to an agency helping the wildlife in Australia as they battle these wildfires.

2051 days ago
67.

Woodman22    

To show how sincere you are about your apology Harvey, how about making a donation to the firefighters out there in Australia?? Good luck Sam!!

2051 days ago
68.

Jane    

Don't want to use the word 'classy' to describe TMZ, sinc e if that were true an apology would never have been necesary, but it is extremely cool that you have done so.

2051 days ago
69.

Debbie    

Ohhh, she's so cute drinking from the water bottle!! Poor little thing, I'm glad she's going to be OK. She can come live with me!!

2051 days ago
70.

greeneyedlass    

I'm glad you guys made a sincere apology. You truly should know what's in absolute poor taste though and too often you cross the line. There are no funny jokes to be made in relation to catastrophic and horrible events like that. Can you even fathom how many innocent animals were killed? Not to mention the people who have lost their lives. That poor animal was obviously suffering and had suffered injuries in order to allow a human near it and the firefighter was just trying to show some compassion and help it. Really, in the future think before you post these things.

2051 days ago
71.

Mike    

Yeah you were way out of line TMZ. How are you gonna make fun of a little koala who almost died. Bold move

2051 days ago
72.

Toune    

Too bad your appology isn't sincere

2051 days ago
73.

Kat    

Thank you for apologizing---YOU WERE WAY OUT OF LINE, glad you realized it.

2051 days ago
74.

Sammer    

Thanks for the contrite apology, TMZ. Nothing about the wildfires in Australia is fodder for humor. We in CA exprienced similar wildfires last summer (as you should be well aware...), but thankfully the death toll was far lower. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people and wildlife of Australia.

2051 days ago
75.

DARKMAN    

they an`t too bad if you can get them in season..big fine for bagging one that`s not!.Fireman eating them year round.

2051 days ago
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