Heartbreaking imagery of a kangaroo asking for help after the devastating Australian bushfires took the world’s attention this week.
Record-breaking temperatures and drought had sent Australia into a series of bushfires across various states forcing thousands to seek shelter elsewhere. BBC reported that more than 130 fires were burning across the state on Friday, in the bush, mountain forests and national parks, with about 60 still not contained by firefighters and posing a risk to lives.
Ecologists from the University of Sydney estimates that around 80 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been affected by the fires. Of these Koalas and Kangaroos are the worst affected as their death tolls keep mounting with each passing day.
Amidst the chaos, pictures of animals in distraught are coming in from various sources. Among them, the pictures of a badly burnt kangaroo seeking help from a teenage boy show how horrendous the situation there is.
The joey(baby kangaroo) appears to be severely burned and the boy can be seen providing water to it using a bowl. The boy also drenched the kangaroo in water to help cool itself off.
This marsupial is one of the lucky ones given how large and contagious the fire is. As of Sunday conditions have eased due to the short sprinkle the area received. “No fires were burning at an ‘emergency’ level on Sunday evening, but eight remain at ‘watch and act’ level’, reports the Sunday Morning Herald.
Experts point to increase in temperature and droughts due to global warming as a key cause of this continuous wildfire epidemic. The impact such fires cause to ecology is mostly irreversible and deadly.
“We’re getting a lot of lessons out of this and it’s just showing how unprepared we are. There’s no procedures or protocols in place – even wildlife carers don’t have protocols for when they can go in after fire”, said Dr Kellie Leigh, the Science for wildlife director, to the New South Wales upper house inquiry. New South Wales is the worst-hit state with fire affecting more than four million hectares, destroying more than 1,300 houses.