SA bushfires: Heartbreaking photos of grief-stricken koala

Clay Curtis
January 17, 2020

An estimated one billion animals have perished due to the wildfires and even more are at risk of losing their habitats. Last weekend, more than 32,000 of the farm animals died there as a result of a fire - including 32,000 sheep, 500 cattle, 65 alpacas and some horses.

Kangaroo Island, a short ferry ride from Adelaide in South Australia, was before the fires a popular tourist destination because of its pristine landscape and wildlife.

Rescued koalas are being taken to a makeshift sanctuary at Kangaroo Island's Wildlife Park.

When told: "Koala, find!", Taylor ventures out into burnt-out bush land to find injured marsupials by sniffing out the scent of their fur or their faeces, also known as scat.

Humane Society International's Animal Rescue team save a koala after Kangaroo Island was ravaged by wiping out close to 80 per cent of Koalas on the Island. "However, the role we have here is very, very vital and we will continue to be here as long as we needed".

In the absence of suitable equipment for veterinary clinics, Kothari said the crews were forced to improvise and use the items available on Kangaroo Island.

"Every koala that gets an anesthetic is given sub-cutaneous fluids from a drip and in absence of a drip pump or a drip stand we used a ladder and managed to get a rope over one of the beams on the roof of the shed".

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"With now over 18 million acres ablaze, the reality is that we have little idea about the true damage they will cause or to the full extent of their ecological legacy" said Professor Ben Garrod.

"We are like a travel pet store", said Stuart Timmins. "Except everything we have on board is free for those pet owners who've been affected by these bushfires".

The rescuers say it is hard to find small species that have survived so their focus has mainly been on larger animals.

"The valuable habitat that has been destroyed is beyond comprehension", she said.

A team of Kiwi firefighters is set to be sent to New South Wales later this week.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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