Australia bushfire: One 'can't walk 10 meters' without coming across an animal carcass, says animal charity
The Humane Society International has successfully rescued hundreds of animals suffering from burns, smoke inhalation, as well as mental trauma since the bushfires started. The charity has also built food and water stations for unharmed animals.
As wildfires continue to devastate Australia, many parts of the country are littered with animal carcasses, according to an animal charity. “I can barely describe it,” says Evan Quartermain from Humane Society International. “In some places, you can’t walk 10 meters without coming across another carcass.”
HSI has successfully rescued hundreds of animals suffering from burns, smoke inhalation, as well as mental trauma since the bushfires started. The charity has also built food and water stations for unharmed animals, the Independent reports.
According to the CEO of Humane Society International, Kangaroo Island -- famous for its natural wildlife -- is "utterly scorched with charred animal bodies everywhere."
“At one area, which was badly burned a week ago, the scenes were nothing short of apocalyptic,” Erica Martin said. “There we only found one living koala amongst thousands of bodies of koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and birds.”
According to several conservationists, this wildfire season -- which is Australia's worst-ever in its history -- has already devastated the country's wildlife. More than one billion animals have reportedly been killed in the blaze, which has ravaged Australia since September.
And as per a leaked report, some species may have already gone extinct owing to the deathly fires. According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), around 25,000 koalas on Kangaroo Island are believed to have died -- which is more than half of its original population on the island.
Furthermore, the conservation group said that at least one-third of the nation's koalas may have been lost in the fires.
The disasters could also lead to local extinctions and affect the survival of some species, WWF fears. These include the knee-high rat kangaroo known as the long-footed potoroo, and the glossy black cockatoo. According to Reuters, Australia's environment minister Sussan Ley said they will conduct a review to determine whether certain koala populations should now be classified as "endangered."
Meanwhile, the Department of the Environment and Energy has announced an AUD 50 million fund for emergency wildlife and habitat recovery to support animal rescue and plan ahead to protect vulnerable environments. That said, some experts have warned that such destructive wildfires could become "normal" if something is not done to address climate change.