Bushfires kill Kangaroo island humans, kangaroos, others


This 4 January 2020 video from Australia is called Kangaroo Island fires continue as locals count cost of damage to infrastructure, animals | ABC News.

This 30 December 2019 video says about itself:

Volunteers struggle to save wild animals from Australia fires

There are no official counts or estimates of how wildlife has been affected by the deadly bushfires in Australia that have destroyed more than 4 million hectares (9.9 million acres) in five states since September. The fire and heat are either killing the native fauna such as kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and echidnas, or driving them out of the bushland and into peoples homes.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

“The fire went so fast, the animals had no chance”

“Your heart is breaking. It was really devastating.”

Although it is not yet possible to record the exact extent of the damage, it is already clear that the unique nature on the Australian Kangaroo Island has suffered greatly from the wildfires. The island, slightly larger than the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant, is popular with eco-tourists.

Hundreds of kangaroo and sheep carcasses can be seen on images and many habitats of rare species have been lost.

“The fire moved so fast that most animals had no chance,” says ecologist Pat Hodgens in Australian media. “Only by chance, some habitats may have been spared. Let’s hope so.”

A 78-year-old travel guide and his 43-year-old son died on the island when they were caught up in their car by the flames. A total of 24 people died in the fires throughout Australia and an estimated 500 million birds, mammals and reptiles died.

In addition to the many kangaroos that give the island its name, there was also a large koala population, which, unlike the animals on the mainland, was not yet plagued by a persistent chlamydia infection. After the fires, a game park on the island currently handles eighteen specimens, but has had to finish off many more. Shepherds have also euthanised hundreds of wounded sheep.

In addition, there is serious concern about, eg, the endangered marsupials, bandicoots, protected glossy black cockatoos and vulnerable Kangaroo Island dunnarts on the island. The eight game cameras that were used to monitor the latter species were lost in the flames, which means that the 300 animals were probably burned.

“Even if there are survivors, there is no food for them now,” ecologist Heidi Groffen sighs to AP. “We hope to catch a few before they are completely gone.”

Gray-headed flying foxes

One of the centers that takes care of injured animals is the Australia Zoo, founded by the world-famous conservationist Steve Irwin.

His daughter informed via Instagram that the animal park itself is not threatened by the flames and that 90,000 animals have already been treated. Among them is also a whole colony of gray-headed flying foxes that were in a rescue center that was in danger of catching fire.

View this post on Instagram

Our @AustraliaZoo Wildlife Hospital takes in animals from all over Australia. Hundreds of grey-headed flying foxes, a species listed as vulnerable, have been flown to Queensland after the rescue centre they were recovering in was at risk from fire and evacuated. Some of the orphans are now being cared for by the team at the hospital until they’re big enough to go home, and there’s no threat of fire. 🦇 In September, flying fox admissions to the hospital skyrocketed by over 750% due to drought conditions and lack of food. Flying foxes are now being drastically affected by wildfires and we’re again seeing an influx of these beautiful animals from across the country. This week, we treated our 90,000th patient. To cope with so many animals being admitted to the hospital, in 2019 we opened a sea turtle rehabilitation centre, sea snake ward and are about to complete a new bird recovery area, but it’s still not enough to keep up. We need to build a new ward for our patients. Wildlife Warriors from around the world are asking how they can help us save native wildlife, you can donate on our website www.wildlifewarriors.org , or support our fundraiser to start construction of our newest ward by visiting the link in my bio! 💚

A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

Many Australian celebrities are now committed to benefit campaigns because of the fires. Actress Nicole Kidman donated $ 500,000 and called on others to do the same. Singer Pink donated the same amount, and rapper Iggy Azalea, born in Sydney, also called on to give generously with a picture of a rescued koala.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B64DuiGFcoG/

A collection by Australian comedian Celeste Barber, who has family in the affected area, was also widely shared. Almost three million euros were raised in three days for emergency aid.

Earlier this week, tennis star Nick Kyrgios had promised to donate 125 euros for every ace he hit at the ATP Cup, which had to move to Victoria due to the smoke in Sydney. The promise has already cost him around 2500 euros.

“It’s hard,” said the Australian emotionally after his first game. “At every store I could only think of that. It is difficult to concentrate on tennis then.” He said he was happy to be able to donate this money to firefighters, victims and conservationists.

Other players gave their own spin to Kyrgios’ initiative. Simona Halep, not known for her aces, promised to donate to every time she gave her coach a hard time played on the track, “this way the amount goes up faster”. The Australian Ashleigh Barty even promised to donate her entire prize money from the Brisbane tennis tournament that starts tomorrow.

In total, an area slightly larger than the Netherlands has gone up in flames. Australian Prime Minister Morrison, criticized for his lack of urgency, has called on 3,000 military reservists to help fight the fires. …

The effects of the fires are also noticeable in New Zealand, about 2,000 kilometers away: the smoke turns the sky orange there.

This 5 January 2020 video says about itself:

The sky above the New Zealand city of Auckland turned orange with haze from Australia’s raging bushfires 2,000 kilometres (1,243 miles) away on Sunday.

6 thoughts on “Bushfires kill Kangaroo island humans, kangaroos, others

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