NZDF helps to feed homeless koalas amid 'quite overwhelming' Australia bushfire destruction

Rainstorms douse bushfires across eastern Australia

For example, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has stationed a rescue operation on Kangaroo Island, a 1,700 square mile island off the coast of South Australia. "This includes the inspection and assessment of injured animals and their welfare, the treatment of surviving animals and the human destruction to alleviate the suffering".

Major Tony Purdy of the Australia Defence Force said the job, though hard, was a "vital" one.

When told: "Koala, find!", Taylor ventures out into burnt-out bush land to find injured marsupials by sniffing out the scent of their fur or their faeces, also known as scat.

The images were taken on Wednesday, on Kangaroo Island, south of Adelaide, where an estimated 37,000 koalas have been killed in the bushfires.

One of its most famous animals is the glossy black cockatoo, a bird with a bright tail that is extinct on the mainland. The park, which survived a major fire threat last week, has become the main triage center.

The RSPCA team used a burned-out nature reserve on the island as a makeshift triage center and a shed as an animal treatment center.

Lewis said the animal rescue team would stay on the island as long as needed to help. And now, we have a lot of clay koalas to make!

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In the absence of proper veterinary clinic equipment, Kothari said, crews have been forced to improvise and make use of whatever items are available on Kangaroo Island.

"With now over 18 million acres ablaze, the reality is that we have little idea about the true damage they will cause or to the full extent of their ecological legacy" said Professor Ben Garrod.

"We're like a travelling pet supplies shop", Stuart Timmins said.

The rescuers say it is hard to find small species that have survived so their focus has mainly been on larger animals.

"The valuable habitat that was destroyed is incomprehensible", she said.

They are even more crucial now that huge numbers of koalas are feared to have died in the bushfires on the Australian mainland.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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