Nearly half a billion animals in Australia’s New South Wales state have been killed by raging wildfires in the last couple of months, and the devastating death toll is expected to rise.
Roughly 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been affected since bush-fires started in September.
Pictures and images on social media show charred koalas receiving medical attention, bodies of dead animals lying on the ground and kangaroos desperately running from blazes. Experts say the fires have likely killed millions of animals including koalas, wallabies, wombats and kangaroos.
“Many of the affected animals are likely to have been killed directly by the fires, with others succumbing later due to the depletion of food and shelter resources and predation from introduced feral cats and red foxes,” the University of Sydney ecologists said in a statement on Friday.
See pictures below: