WARNING – Distressing and graphic content.
Wildfires raging across Australia have prompted one of the largest evacuations in the country’s history, leaving not only dozens of people dead but also marsupials, such as kangaroos and koalas. But this heartbreaking picture, which shows the grim reality of the bushfire crisis, has left people horrified online.
As blazing flames engulfed various parts of the country’s south coast, people fled to safe refuge, but animals weren’t as lucky. A photo of a charred baby kangaroo stuck to a barbed-wire fence in Adelaide Hills is going viral.
Publishing a graphic photo like this was a difficult decision but to show the brutal reality of Australia’s bushfire crisis, Brad Fleet, a senior photographer with The Advertiser, went ahead and shared it on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
This photo speaks a thousand words… Sorry for sharing such an unpleasant sight, but it must be done. Everyone must be aware. When Notre Dame went up in flames, millions upon millions were donated by billionaires overnight… #bushfiresaustralia #australia Photo by @bradfleet Good causes web addresses you can search & donate to include: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au www.cfa.vic.gov.au www.givit.org.au www.cfsfoundation.org.au www.redcross.org.au www.koalahospital.org.au
The photo quickly spread across social media sites and left many teary-eyed online. While some prayed the “photo is not real”, others while sharing the devastating picture said it’s high time world takes climate change and mass extinction seriously.
“So many animals couldn’t escape. Millions and millions of them burned. My heart is well and truly broken. This is so devastating. This hurts my soul,” wrote a journalist on Facebook sharing the picture.
“So Australia what’s it going to take for our government to finally commit the appropriate resources to helping our people and wildlife that is burning before our eyes in the current firestorms engulfing every state of our country? How much devastation do we need to witness before it does something about climate change? Loss of Koalas? Broad scale annihilation of critical habitats for our unique and beautiful wildlife? How many thousands of homes need to be destroyed and human lives lost?” asked another.
I saw this last night on a news feed .. I’m with you 100❤️% 😢😢😢😢😢
— Craig (@aus_craig) January 4, 2020
Oh my goodness, poor thing. Absolutely heart breaking 😞
— Tim (@timsutnew) January 3, 2020
This picture absolutely paints a 1000 very sad words…..
— Lee Stevenson (@stoneman011) January 3, 2020
— 🦅 TheEagleDownUnder 🦅 (@LawrenceTheLaw1) January 3, 2020
Omg this is terribly sad 😭😭😭😭💔 The world needs to start taking more notice of this the press needs to have more coverage in Australia this is a catastrophic event that effects the whole world wake up 🌎 and start paying attention we are destroying our only beautiful planet
— A voice for animals & our 🌎 (@shaunwalters041) January 3, 2020
Horrific but we mustn’t ignore or turn away from such images and instead slap them in the face of those ignoring why the world is burning.
— Jools (@Jools_Orca) January 3, 2020
Oh dear God this is the Apocalypse . It’s so sad 😥
— Graceinla (@girlnamedgil) January 3, 2020
Images coming out of Australia are beyond comprehension. The photo by Brad Fleet of the fully burnt Kangaroo on the fence will become one of the lasting images of this disaster. My thoughts are with everyone risking their lives to save the voiceless animals.😢#AustraliaBushfires pic.twitter.com/MdoZ81BOBB
— Andrew McAlpine Ⓥ (⧖) 🌱 (@Maritimegeek) January 3, 2020
There are two horrors at play here: the fires, and the barbed wire. Barbed wire kills and maims many innocent animals. This baby might have been able to escape had he not been caught on the barbed wire.
— Deazelle (@Deazelle) January 3, 2020
Roughly 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been affected since bushfires started in September, said University of Sydney ecologist Chris Dickman from the University of Sydney, who added that the actual number is likely much higher, according to News Corp Australia. Native wildlife and agricultural livestock are among the fatalities, with already-endangered species at greater risk of extinction. The extent of the carnage may never be known.
Heartbreaking footage of kangaroos fleeing has been captured in Monaro, NSW, as bushfires close in.
— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) December 31, 2019
According to 7 News, devastated farmers are being told to photograph their dead and injured livestock for insurance claims, with landowners having to euthanise many heat-stressed and burned animals which survived the blaze.
Vets have been now largely doing a job of euthanasing at this stage. “They are so severely burned that there is nothing better you can do than end their suffering,” Wildlife Victoria boss Megan Davidson said.