Almost half a billion animals have been killed in Australia’s raging wildfires with fears entire species may have been wiped out.
Ecologists from the University of Sydney now estimate 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been lost since September with the figure likely to continue to soar.
Devastating fires have ripped through the states of Victoria and New South Wales in the past couple of days alone, leaving several people dead or missing.
Scores of homes along Australia’s east coast have been razed to the ground leaving thousands of residents stranded and many forced to take shelter in the only safe place left available to them, the ocean.
Harrowing pictures and videos have captured kangaroos desperately attempting to flee great walls of flames while rescue teams have been met by the charred bodies of thousands of koalas.
Others reported seeing cockatoos falling dead out of trees and farmers have fled only to return to their burned land and find it littered with the bodies of livestock.
Read more: metro