Millions of animals dead in Australia fires


china
#1
Millions of animals dead in Australia fires
(Agencies)
Updated: 2009-02-12 09:05
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SYDNEY -- Kangaroo corpses lay scattered by the roadsides while wombats that survived the wildfire's onslaught emerged from their underground burrows to find blackened earth and nothing to eat.


Cheyenne Tree treats a Koala nicknamed Sam, saved from the bushfires in Gippsland, at the Mountain Ash Wildlife Center in Rawson, 100 miles (170 kilometers) east of Melbourne, Australia, where workers were scrambling to salve the wounds of possums, kangaroos and lizards Wednesday, February 11, 2009. More than 180 people were killed in the weekend's fires, and on Wednesday, the scope of the devastation to Australia's wildlife began to emerge, with officials estimating that millions of animals also perished in the inferno. [Agencies]

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Wildlife rescue officials on Wednesday worked frantically to help the animals that made it through Australia's worst-ever wildfires but they said millions of animals likely perished in the inferno. Scores of kangaroos have been found around roads, where they were overwhelmed by flames and smoke while attempting to flee, said Jon Rowdon, president of the rescue group Wildlife Victoria.
Kangaroos that survived are suffering from burned feet, a result of their territorial behavior. After escaping the initial flames, the creatures -- which prefer to stay in one area -- likely circled back to their homes, singeing their feet on the smoldering ground.
"It's just horrific," said Neil Morgan, president of the Statewide Wildlife Rescue Emergency Service in Victoria, the state where the raging fires were still burning. "It's disaster all around for humans and animals as well."
Some wombats that hid in their burrows managed to survive the blazes, but those that are not rescued face a slow and certain death as they emerge to find their food supply gone, said Pat O'Brien, president of the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia.
The official human death toll stood at 181 from the weekend's deadly fires and authorities said it would exceed 200. While the scope of the wildlife devastation was still unclear, it was likely to be enormous, Rowdon said.
"There's no doubt across that scale of landscape and given the intensity of the fires, millions of animals would have been killed," he said.
Hundreds of burned, stressed and dehydrated animals -- including kangaroos, koalas, lizards and birds -- have already arrived at shelters across the scorched region. Rescuers have doled out antibiotics, pain relievers and fluids to the critters in a bid to keep them comfortable, but some of the severely injured were euthanized to spare any more suffering.
"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," Rowdon said. "They're the ones your hearts really go out to."
In some of the hardest-hit areas, rescuers used vaporizing tents to help creatures whose lungs were burned by the searing heat and smoke.


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Stretch
#2
Thats the part that brings tears to my eyes..... I was a wildlife rescue volunteer b4 I came to the great white north, raised and released many native Australian animals......each one had its own personality...releasing them back to the wild was really hard, but to have them return "home" with a baby or pregnant, made all the sleepless nights worthwhile.
as for the human loss.....equally sad.
 
Risus
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

Thats the part that brings tears to my eyes..... I was a wildlife rescue volunteer b4 I came to the great white north, raised and released many native Australian animals......each one had its own personality...releasing them back to the wild was really hard, but to have them return "home" with a baby or pregnant, made all the sleepless nights worthwhile.
as for the human loss.....equally sad.

Good post.
 
Stretch
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Risus View Post

Good post.

ya had to be there.....to watch 4 different species, Spectacled Flying Fox, Wallaby, Pademelon, cat, and dog all interacting.....is a wonerful thing to observe.

imagine a young flying fox learning to fly.......I'd built a framework for the to "crawl/swing" across and kept it in the lounge/family room.....the 1st one to take flight left frame and flew across the room and landed on the cat that was languishing along the back of the couch ya should've seen the look on her face....and the bats

picked up shocked bat/flying fox and put her back on her roost and another one leaves the nest.....lands on the cat......what are the chances!!!????
 

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