Millions of Animals Dead in Australia Fires

February 13, 2009 / 1 Comment

People aren’t the only thing we lose in fires that we care about.

Kangaroo corpses can be seen scattered by the roadsides. Wombats emerge from their underground burrows to find blackened earth and no food. Wildlife rescue officials say millions of animals likely perished in the inferno. The kangaroos were overwhelmed by flames and smoke when attempting to flee. Kangaroos that survived suffer from burned feet.. After escaping they likely circled back to their homes thus singeing their feet.

aussie animals Millions of Animals Dead in Australia Fires

Wombats that hid managed to survive the blazes, but if they are not rescued, they face a slow and certain death because their food supply gone.

The human death toll stands at 181, but millions of animals and other forms of wildlife have been killed.

Kangaroos, koalas, lizards and birds are found burned, stressed and dehydrated. Some of the severely injured animals were euthanized to spare any more suffering.

aussie animals1 Millions of Animals Dead in Australia Fires

“We’ve got a wallaby joey at the moment that has crispy fried ears because he stuck his head out of his mum’s pouch and lost all his whiskers and cooked up his nose. They’re the ones your hearts really go out to.”

“We had a turtle come through that was just about melted — still alive. The whole thing was just fused together — it was just horrendous. It just goes to show how intense (the fire) was in the area.”

The animals seem to understand the veterinarians are trying to help them. Kangaroos and koalas are not particularly afraid of humans.

Volunteers filled 10 giant bins with 2,300 dead grey-headed flying foxes that succumbed to heat stroke.

“It’s heartbreaking. They’re very endearing animals and to see them die right before our eyes is something that wildlife rescuers and carers just find appalling.”

People aren’t the only thing we lose in fires that we care about.