More Than 20,000 Koalas Dead Following Bushfire On Kangaroo Island
More than half of the 50,000 koalas living on Kangaroo Island have died in the Australian bushfire crisis.
Now, rescuers are frantically searching for injured survivors who may still be on the island.
Thousands of badly burned deceased koalas and wallabies were found littered across along the side of the road after the creatures had desperately attempted escape the blaze at Flinders Chase National Park.
Workers from Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park are searching to find any animals who may still be alive in the park.
Sam Mitchell, co-owner of the park, told the Adelaide Now:
There is no food left, for those (animals) who didn’t perish in the fire, a lot of them will starve to death.
Mitchell went on to say the island had ‘gone from one extreme to the other’ given there were calls from external sources to cull some of the koalas living on there in previous years.
People would talk about koalas being a pest species, but now there are a lot of koalas (which) perished in the fire.
Mitchell is concerned it could take many years for the native wildlife to recover on the island.
It comes after horrifying footage emerged showing lines of burnt out koala, kangaroo and sheep bodies along the main road in Batlow, New South Wales.
The haunting sight was captured on camera earlier today, as people returned to the small rural town after evacuating the area on Saturday night.
At least 24 people have died in the fires since they began in September, with more than 100 fires continuing to burn across the states of New South Wales and Victoria alone. More than 1,500 homes have been ravaged and more than 3.6 million hectares of land, killing nearly half a billion animals in the process.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has been criticised by activists for allegedly failing to acknowledge climate change’s role in the fires.
At a press conference just before Christmas, Morrison said:
Australia and the Australian government will set our policies based on Australia’s national interests, on what Australia needs to do. That’s where I keep my focus.
It’s not for me to make commentaries on what those outside of Australia think that Australia should do. We’ll do in Australia what we think is right for Australia. And that has always been my guiding principle.
I’m not here to try to impress people overseas. I’m here to do the right job for Australians and put them first.
Our thoughts are with everyone in Australia facing the destruction of the bushfires.
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