Australia Airdrops 4,000 Pounds Of Vegetables For Animals Impacted By Fires
By Bill Galluccio
January 13, 2020
Officials in Australia are desperately trying to save the animals that survived the horrific bushfires that have ravaged the country. The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service decided to help out by dropping roughly two tons of vegetables for animals that are struggling to find food amid the ash and rubble. Authorities used aircraft to airdrop more than 4,000 pounds of carrots and sweet potatoes to colonies of brush-tailed rock-wallabies, which have found their habitats decimated by the fires.
"Initial fire assessments indicate the habitat of several important Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby populations was burnt in the recent bushfires," New South Wales Environment Minister Matt Kean said. "The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance."
Officials said that while the wallabies are resilient, they find themselves in a precarious position since the fires destroyed their primary sources of food.
"The provision of supplementary food is one of the key strategies we are deploying to promote the survival and recovery of endangered species like the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby," Kean said. "The wallabies typically survive the fire itself, but are then left stranded with limited natural food as the fire takes out the vegetation around their rocky habitat."
The fires have torched nearly 21 million acres across the country since September. The bushfires are estimated to have killed more than one billion animals and forced even more to leave their habitats in search of food and shelter.
The fires have also destroyed thousands of homes and killed 25 people. Firefighters from around the world are helping locals try to contain the out-of-control fires. Authorities believe the bushfires could continue to rage for the next few months as the country deals with a significant drought and above-average temperatures.