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Robert Irwin Holds Back Tears While Discussing Impact Of Bushfires On Australian Wildlife

Robert Irwin Holds Back Tears While Discussing Impact Of Bushfires On Australian Wildlife

'We're absolutely heartbroken'

Jake Massey

Jake Massey

Robert Irwin had to hold back tears while discussing the impact of bushfires on wildlife in Australia.

Last week, ecologists from the University of Sydney warned that around 480 million animals animals had been killed by the fires that have ravaged the nation.

Speaking on Sunrise alongside his mum Terri, the evidently emotional 16-year-old Robert said: "It's definitely an ongoing issue and we're just trying to do our best to help in any way we can.

"But it's a pretty tough situation. We're absolutely heartbroken."

Terri then went on to explain why the fires have had such a devastating impact on the country's koala population.

She said: "The consideration with koalas is that their instinct is to go up, safety is in the top of the tree, and with a hot fire, eucalyptus trees have so much oil in their leaves they actually ignite and explode. So being able to treat koalas is few and far between because they're basically incinerated, which is absolutely heartbreaking.

"But now is the time we need to look at more than just setting aside habitat. Koalas are classed as vulnerable and I think that after this event we need to really sit down and look at classing them as endangered and protecting our icons, our kangaroos, our koalas."

A koala being given water by a firefighter last month.

Bindi Irwin announced in an Instagram post last week that the family's wildlife hospital had helped treat more than 90,000 animals.

The post read: "With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much. I wanted to let you know that we are SAFE. There are no fires near us @AustraliaZoo or our conservation properties. Our Wildlife Hospital is busier than ever though, having officially treated over 90,000 patients.

"My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother. We will continue to honour her by being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can."

Robert said the fires had harmed animals in a variety of different ways.

He said: "We're seeing all kinds of different injuries.

"Obviously smoke inhalation and burns are happening frequently, but also animals are going into areas where they're not supposed to be to escape the horrific conditions."

Featured Image Credit: 7 News

Topics: Celebrity, Bushfires, Animals, Australia