humanitarian group describes 'apocalyptic' scenes of wildlife devastation on Kangaroo Island
Animal welfare charities have described what they say are apocalyptic scenes on fire-ravaged Kangaroo Island, in South Australia, where they have set up a base rescuing injured wildlife.
More than a third of 160km long Kangaroo Island has burned. The video and pictures released by the charity’s disaster response team shows a scorched landscape of scarred trees, ash-coloured earth and animal carcasses.
They also show vision of koalas and other animals being rescued, given water, carried to safety in washing baskets and cared for in a temporary veterinary hospital.
Evan Quartermain, the group’s Australian head of programs and manager of the Wildlife Land Trust, a network of 600 sanctuaries across the country, said the damage on the island was hard to describe.
“It is extremely emotional,” he said in a statement issued by the organisation. “In some places you can’t walk 10 metres without coming across another carcass.”
Erica Martin, the charity’s chief executive, said in a badly hit area that burned a week ago they found one live koala among thousands of dead koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and birds. “The scenes were nothing short of apocalyptic.”
The severity and extent of the fires, concentrated in the island’s biodiversity-rich western region, have prompted ecologists to express grave fears for the future of some of Kangaroo Island’s unique and endangered wildlife.