Nearly 500 million animals — including mammals, birds and reptiles — have died in bushfires in New South Wales, Sydney University ecologist Chris Dickman told The Sydney Morning Herald. Many organizations are working to rescue and rehabilitate animals caught in the blazes.
WIRES: The New South Wales-based Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc., Australia's largest wildlife rescue organization, is accepting donations to fund the rescue and care of animals affected by the fires. In December, WIRES received more than 20,000 calls and volunteers attended more than 3,300 rescues, according to the organization's website. All animal rescuers are volunteers. Learn more at wires.org.au.
Koala Hospital Port Macquarie: This koala hospital in New South Wales is accepting donations to fund the rescue, treatment and release of koalas, as well as research and education about koalas. The hospital said Sunday that it is "inundated with supplies to treat burnt koalas" and is now sending boxes of veterinary supplies to the state's south coast, according to the hospital's Facebook page. Donate at koalahospital.org.au/shop/donation.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital: Bindi Irwin, the daughter of famed wildlife conservationist and "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, has been taking in many displaced animals at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, which is owned by her mother, Terri. The Queensland hospital is "busier than ever," Irwin said in an Instagram post. The zoo's Wildlife Warriors program has raised more than $400,000 for new enclosures to house flying foxes and koalas injured or displaced by fires. Donate at azwh.blackbaud-sites.com.
Wildlife Victoria: A nonprofit that provides wildlife emergency response services, Wildlife Victoria is accepting donations to distribute to wildlife shelters to help rebuild enclosures and equipment, the organization says on its website. Donate at wildlifevictoria.org.au.
RSPCA Australia: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia, the nation's leading animal welfare charity, is accepting donations to fund the rescue and treatment of animals affected by the fires. RSPCA chapters in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia are accepting donations.