Bush fires kill 25,000 koalas on Kangaroo Island cutting population by half
The Australian bush fires have killed 25,000 koalas on the world famous Kangaroo Island.
Half the 50,000 koala population has burned to death, say experts.
Some of the survivors had horrendous burns and their claws had melted off. Many more were in such pain they had to be put down.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the island yesterday.
There are fears the weather in the region this weekend could spark further horrendous blazes.
Searing temperatures and high winds could create perfect conditions for the fire to race out of control.
Mr Morrison said: “South Australia, particularly the Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills communities, have faced devastating losses and the bush fire threat is not over yet.”
Heidi Groffen, an ecologist at the Land for Wildlife organisation, said: “People call this place a little Noah’s Ark. The island is a refuge.
"This is the largest fire we have seen in a long time.”
Sam Mitchell, of Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, said hundreds of injured animals were being treated, including around 50 koalas. He said: “For some the burns are just too extreme.”
As the fires continue to burn 200 evacuees and 66 volunteer firefighters landed at HMAS Cerberus base in Hastings, near Melbourne, ending the sea-borne evacuation of the eastern coastal town of Mallacoota, Victoria, which was isolated last week.
Meanwhile, thousands of camels in South Australia will be shot dead from helicopters. A five-day cull started yesterday, as Aboriginal communities in the region have reported large groups of them damaging towns and buildings.
Camels crazed by thirst have ripped up pipes and wrenched air conditioners from walls. They can drink 200 litres of water in just three minutes.
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