The bushfires raging in Australia have taken a massive toll on animals — more than a billion of them are thought to have died so far, in what is only the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
Fires have burned an estimated 25.5 million acres since September, according to Reuters. The fires have claimed dozens of lives, and destroyed thousands of homes. The fires are so massive, smoke from them has been turning the sky in New Zealand orange — which is about 1,200 miles away. By comparison, the massive Amazon Rainforest fires in 2019 burned an estimated 17.5 million acres.
Celebrities and other well-known figures throughout the world have been calling on the public to join them in helping Australians, while Celeste Barber’s Facebook bushfire fundraiser is officially the largest in the platform’s history, raising over $28.5 million in just four days.
The fires have had a heartbreaking impact on pets and wild animals too — tens of thousands of koalas are feared dead on Kangaroo Island alone, and last week, the family of late wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin announced that their animal hospital in Queensland had treated more than 90,000 animal patients.
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