Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Many Animals Dying in Australian Wildfires

We sometimes overlook a story even when it's right under our noses. Not only did we not think about the impact of the Australian wildfires on wildlife, but we didn't see the AP story on our very own sidebar.

We are losers.

The story says millions of animals may have died.
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, {Jon Rowdon, president of the rescue group Wildlife Victoria} 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."

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