New South Wales: As over half a billion of Australia’s wildlife are estimated to have perished in the bushfires, authorities are taking measures to ensure that the animals who did manage to survive don’t die of starvation.
In an effort to distribute food to fire-affected wildlife in Australia, the New South Wales government over the past week has been dropping carrots, sweet potatoes and other vegetables from planes into the forests, for the wallabies, koalas and other animals that might need them.
NSW Environment Minister Matthew Kean said the food drops form part of a state-wide scheme addressing post-fire wildlife recovery. Kean said that officials have so far dropped over 2,000 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of sweet potatoes and carrots across different colonies in the last week.
“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,” he said.
The minister later also tweeted an image of a critter munching on a carrot, with the caption “One happy customer”.
A study by the University of Sydney said close to half a billion mammals, birds, and reptiles have been wiped out in the bushfires that erupted since September last year.
With the fires still raging in Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales continues to rise, the death toll of animals is likely to increase.
Meanwhile, at least 25 people have been killed and more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed by wildfires in Australia that have scorched an area of approximately 48,500 square kilometres.