It’s hard to turn on the news or scroll through your Instagram feed without hearing about the Australian wildfires. Australia is known for their wildlife, specifically its kangaroos and koalas, which are native to the country, and many of these animals can’t be found in other countries besides for in zoos.
Our heart goes out to the people and the animals who are helpless as the massive bushfires sweep through the country. Some of the most devastating videos show kangaroos and koalas trying to save their babies from the smoke, dogs saving sheep, and bandages and burn cream waiting to treat injured animals. With no end in sight, it’s unknown how long these bushfires will last. The WWF estimates that so far, an astounding 1.25 billion animals have died from the fires. The animals most affected include flying foxes, koalas, camels, and livestock.
How Can You Help?
First, it’s important to be aware of where your information is coming from as not everything from social media is accurate. The same applies when making a donation, but the following organizations are legit:
- WWF: The focus of the WWF is on koala and for those that survive, they will need trees. Once the fires subside, the WWF plans to plant 10,000 trees between southwest Sydney, Gunnedah, and Noosa. A donation of $50 will be used for tree-planting and $75 will be used for food and medicine.
- Wires Wildlife Rescue: The largest wildlife rescue organization -volunteers go to the burned areas when it’s deemed safe and they rescue whatever animals they can.
- Zoos Victoria’s Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund: Helps fund scientific intervention and emergency veterinary assistance.
- RSPCA of New South Wales: Donations will help keep assists animals in need and the group responds to emergencies.
- Irwin Family: Steve Irwin’s parent’s founded the zoo and it’s now run by his widow Terri. The zoo’s wildlife hospital is accepting donations and they plan on building a ward for the flying foxes who have been affected by the fires.
- Port Macquarie Koala Hospital: In conjunction with National Parks and Wildlife Service has been searching for koalas affected by the fires and they’ve treated 31 koalas.
- Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park: Through a Go Fund Me page you can help fund veterinary costs, koala milk and supplements, and holding and rehabilitation enclosures.
- Animal Rescue Collective: A joint project of many rescue groups in Australia, the Facebook page has updates on what the groups are doing and what they need.
While we’re hearing a lot about the wildlife population, humans are also in need of help. Money is being raised for firefighters, emergency housing, and food through auctions, fundraisers, and concerts. Some places you can donate to help the Australian people include fire departments, the Victorian Government, the Australian Red Cross, First Nations Communities, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal, and GIVIT.