Ecologists estimate that nearly 500,000 animals have lost their lives in the massive fires that are currently spreading across Australia. Heartbreaking stories, videos, and images have been surfacing from the choas, showing the devastation that has been caused by the fires.
In one incident that was captured by photographers, a kangaroo can be seen begging a teenage boy for help after it was badly burned in the fires. The boy doused the animal with water and then offered some water to drink. At first, the fate of the animal was unknown, but luckily, multiple reports have confirmed that the kangaroo was able to survive and is currently being nursed back to health.
In another case, a firefighter was caught on camera giving water to a kangaroo named “Jerry” in the Stirling Range National Park. Jerry was recently rescued from the bushfires, and is now being taken care of by wildlife experts.
Ryan Pollock, who works for the park, posted the photo to Instagram with a caption that read, “This was such an emotional moment. After Jerry had a belly full of water he bounced off into unburnt bush land.”
In shocking footage to surface this week, a pack of kangaroos can be seen fleeing the devastation caused by the fires.
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Posted by Corelion News on Tuesday, December 31, 2019
New South Wales Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the fires are similar to an “atomic bomb.”
“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,” he told ABC.
The fires in Australia are said to be 5 times larger than that of the Amazon, torching over 12 million acres of land thus far. As we reported in early January, nearly 500 million animals are expected to have perished in the fires since they began a few months ago.
Authorities in Australia have urged tens of thousands of people to evacuate from their homes and move to safer areas. The region of Victoria has declared a state of disaster in areas that are home to roughly 100,000 people. The fires have been burning since September, and in these few months, it is estimated that 1,300 homes were destroyed.
Federal environment minister Sussan Ley told ABC that crews will not be able to assess the full damage until the fires finally calm down. Ley said that up to 30 percent of the animals in the New South Wales region have lost their habitat, and with nowhere else to go, a vast majority of these animals have likely perished.
Even now, many more animals are still in danger, as over 100 fires are still ravaging the Australian continent. Environmental experts estimate that over five million hectares of land have been burned in the recent fires. The New South Wales region has been the worst hit, with four of the five million hectares of land being lost in NSW. The human casualty count is at least 24, but there are still some people who have been missing in the chaos.