Young Kangaroo Seeks Help From Teenager After Being Burnt In Bushfires
| Last updated
Since devastating bushfires began ravaging Australia, reams of heartbreaking photographs have illustrated the impact the blazes have had on the country and its wildlife.
Pictures taken in New South Wales show a badly burnt young kangaroo seeking help from a teenage boy, who doused the marsupial with water and gave it a bowl to drink from.
This helpless little animal got off lightly though, in the grand scheme of things.
Earlier this week, ecologists from the University of Sydney estimated that around 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have died since September as a result of bushfires in the country.
Science for Wildlife executive director Dr Kellie Leigh told the New South Wales upper house inquiry: "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."
Many species have been affected in Australia - which is home to various indigenous fauna including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, possums, wombats and echidnas - but koalas are feared to be among the hardest hit, with an estimated 30 percent of just one koala colony on the country's northeast coast thought to be lost.
Professor of conservation biology at the University of Sydney Mike Letnic told 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 have been burnt.
"Animals that typically survive in these patches that don't burn can recolonise from these refuges, but there may be too few pathways to allow for effective recolonisation. It will depend on how many refuges are left."
Authorities confirmed on Saturday that that two people were killed on Kangaroo Island after flames appeared to overrun their vehicle - taking the total death toll from the current bushfires to 23. A further six people are missing in regions across New South Wales and Victoria.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated across the country, while 1,500 homes have already been destroyed by the fires.
New South Wales Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, compared the fires destroying the state to an 'atomic bomb'.
Speaking to ABC, he 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."
Featured Image Credit: © Matrix for Daily Mail Australia
Topics: World News, Animals, Australia