Several species of animals are on the brink of extinction and without them, there is going to be an effect on the ecosystem, and not in a good way.
Robert Irwin is only 16-years-old but he has been involved in animal conservation and protection his entire life. On Monday, Robert, Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin's son, choked back tears when he spoke about how the Australian bushfires have affected native wildlife. He appeared on Sunrise alongside his mother, Terri, reports Daily Mail, where he could be seen trying to hold back his tears while he described the injuries sustained by animals due to the fires. Robert spoke about how animals were dying from smoke inhalation and burns, and he also spoke about those being killed by cars while escaping the flames.
'Heartbroken' Robert Irwin Chokes Back Tears As He Speaks About Animal Suffering In Wildfires https://t.co/F5VI5EI9TU— Pauline Porter (@pporter1951) January 6, 2020
"It's definitely an ongoing issue and we're just trying to do our best to help in any way we can," said the award-winning wildlife photographer. "But it's a pretty tough situation. We're absolutely heartbroken," he added, as his eyes welled up with tears. Robert's emotional message comes a week after his sister Bindi, 21, took to Instagram to share an emotional message about the bushfires.
"With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much," wrote Bindi in the caption a photo of her late grandmother, Lyn, and father, Steve. "I wanted to let you know that we are safe. There are no fires near us @AustraliaZoo or our conservation properties," she added. She also mentioned that the wildlife hospital is "busier than ever" amid the bushfires.
The Australia wildfires are incredibly heartbreaking. @AustraliaZoo is doing everything they can to help. Find out how you can make a difference: https://t.co/YzWLHTdRxw @wildlifewarriors @bindiirwin @robertirwin @terriirwin #AustralianBushfire pic.twitter.com/tuzpHjj6QQ— Animal Planet (@AnimalPlanet) January 6, 2020
"Our Wildlife Hospital is busier than ever though, having officially treated over 90,000 patients," she continued. "My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother [Lyn]. We will continue to honor her by being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can." The animals, injured and confused by the devastating fires, are "desperate" to escape the flames, Terri Irwin said, according to CNN.
The Crocodile Hunter’s family is carrying on his legacy. Terri, Bindi, and Robert Irwin helped rescue over 90,000 animals, many of which were injured in Australia’s raging wildfires. https://t.co/uxK4r7XMRd— FOX59 News (@FOX59) January 6, 2020
"The problem with koalas is they instinctively go to the tops of trees," Terri said. "Eucalyptus trees have a very high oil content in the leaves, and when a hot fire hits a eucalyptus tree, they literally explode." Almost one-third of the Koalas in Australia's New South Wales state may have been killed in bushfires. In Kangaroo Island in South Australia, around 25,000 koalas were killed in just one fire event, added Terri.
While the zoo's hospital specializes in koalas, they have been rescuing and treating all kinds of animals including several bird species and bats. "It's definitely working overtime for our vets and nurses to try and treat everyone that comes in here," Robert said. And unless the fires are put out soon, Terri said the "hundreds of animals that we are seeing come in are going to rapidly turn into thousands."
"It is a battle for our ecosystem right now, and I think last year, 2019, was a year where we really saw a lot of things tip, whether it's glaciers melting, the fires in the Amazon, now it's hitting Australia," Terri said. "Forevermore, we're now in a position where we're going to have to be more active to protect our environment." Several species of animals are on the brink of extinction and without them, there is going to be an effect on the ecosystem, and not in a good way.