Australia has seen some devastating brushfires in recent months and the world is seeing more and more heartbreaking pictures from the area. Not only are people affected by those fires but the pictures show the impact it has had on the wildlife as well.
With Australia on fire since September, the world has been inundated with heart-breaking pictures emerging from the devastation. Most affected, have been the wildlife. The poor animals have been traumatized, killed, injured, and displaced in recent months.
One of the latest photos to go viral because of its sad content, has been that of a badly burned young kangaroo in New South Wales. The kangaroo is seeking help from a teen – who gives him a drink plus a pretty good dousing of water.
Given all the trauma this poor kangaroo has been through, it is absolutely heart-breaking to think about.
Ecologists with the University of Sydney estimate that since September, roughly 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles have lost their lives as a result of bush fires.
Dr. Kellie Leigh, executive director for science for wildlife spoke to the New South Wales upper house inquiry and said, “We’re getting a lot of lessons out of this and it’s just showing how unprepared we are. There’s no procedures or protocols in place – even wildlife carers don’t have protocols for when they can go in after fire.”
Kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, possums, wombats, and echidnas are amongst those species who were affected by the fires. But by far the ones who were hardest hit were the koalas. It is believed that as many as 30% of just one koala colony on the northeast coast of Australia have perished.
Professor of conservation biology at the University of Sydney, Mike Letnic, said to the Sydney Morning Herald, “With the climate being so dry at the moment, and the intensity of these fires, wet gully areas and so on that normally escape the worst of it has been burnt.”
He added, “Animals that typically survive in these patches that don’t burn can recolonize from these refuges, but there may be too few pathways to allow for effective re-colonization. It will depend on how many refugees are left.”
While the animals are definitely the most affected by the fires, humans are also suffering. A report from authorities confirmed that two people died on Kangaroo Island after their vehicle caught flames. That means the death toll for human lives lost is 23. There are an additional 6 people missing in the regions of Victoria and New South Wales.
As hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated across Australia, there have been 1,500 homes destroyed by fire.
The New South Wales Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, has compared the damage to an “atomic bomb.”
He spoke to ABC and said, “I’ve got to be honest with you, this isn’t a bushfire, it’s an atomic bomb. It’s indescribable the hell it’s caused and the devastation it’s caused.”