The images of the Australian wildfires are difficult to look at and the statics on the tragic mounting loss of wild animal life, numbers as high as half a billion, are even harder to comprehend. So, when we heard that Bindi Irwin and her family had rescued and saved more than 90,000 wild animals and counting, it gave us some hope.
The famed Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin’s family is racing to save as much wildlife as possible, according to Instagram posts by siblings Bindi and Ollie Irwin.
“With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much,” Bindi wrote. “I wanted to let you know that we are SAFE. There are no fires near us [at the] Australia Zoo or our conservation properties. Our Wildlife Hospital is busier than ever though, having officially treated over 90,000 patients. My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother. We will continue to honour her by being Wildlife Warriors and save as many lives as we can.”
The tragic fires in Australia started in September 2019 and are continuing to grow and rage across the continent. A weather phenomenon is known as the Indian Ocean Dipole, which causes extreme hot and dry spells combined with the ongoing drought in Australia is what caused the drought. Experts believe that upwards of a third of all koalas may have been killed. More than 1,300 homes have been destroyed, 24 people have died, and an estimated 15.6 million acres have burned. The current temperatures across the continent have been 105 degrees with little reprieve in sight making this the worst bush fire season in Australian history.
University of Sydney, Australia, Professor Chris Dickman who is an expert off Australian biodiversity told the BBC that “We’ve estimated that in the three million hectares of New South Wales alone that were burned up until about 10 days ago probably as many as 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles would have been affected by the fires.”
Parts of Australia have seen some relief with the arrival of downpours and more rain on the way but it may not be enough to stop the fires that, if stretched out in a single line, would go from LA to New York and back twice.
With all of that bad news, it can feel easy to want to just cry but there is hope in good people like the Irwin family and countless volunteers (both connected and not connected to the Australia Zoo) working round the clock to rescue and treat injured animals. You can help the Wildlife Warriors with their mission to save as many animals as possible by donating here.