THE MASSIVE DEATHS OF BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS IS A NATIONAL TRAGEDY
I am sure that all nature lovers around the world are following, with tears in eyes, the tragedy that is happening in Australia recently, due to the bushfires. The eastern Australian coast is burning and the tongue of the fire has touched all possible targets, including wonderful natural settings and unique animals. This disaster has destroyed the Australian wildlife and attacked the most fragile element of its, the colony of koala bears. More about 100 fires are eating the landscape of New South Wales and Queensland, taking away homes from people and habitats from wild animals. The fire is unpredicted enemy, its dance is always the most dangerous and unforgettable.
The most devastating portray of fire aggression is definitely the demolished koala colony in the Lake Nature Reserve, once home of about 600 cute teddy bears that we all adore. According to the warnings of the Australian conservationists, approx 350 koalas have been killed in those consolidated fires and the number is on the rise, because many starve to death or they are dehydrated. We should keep in mind that about 2.5 million acres of land have already burned and turned into the ash of memory.
Those sweet furry creatures have already been considered as very endangered and vulnerable and the whole world is concerned what will happen in the future with them. The World Wildlife Fund informed that their population dropped in last time and if such a trend goes on, they could be extinct by 2050 and National Geographic writes that this is a big shock for the global wildlife:“Conservationists have raced to install water stations for surviving koalas stricken with dehydration. The stubborn animals typically rely on eucalyptus leaves for much of their water consumption, but the fires have destroyed swaths of their habitat and food source.Koalas eat as much as two and a half pounds of leaves per day and even reject leaves that do not contain enough water.Hotter and drier weather brought on by climate change, which has exacerbated the fires, have also ravaged eucalyptus, driving koalas to seek artificial water supplies in Gunnedah, the ´koala capital of the world´ in New South Wales west of Port Macquarie. They typically breed once a year, making each death a significant event”
The fire itself is not the only problem for koala bears. They are endangered by competitive human development and the industrial revolution that doesn’t let the free place for wild habitat and the progress of the natural environment. Australia is the only one place on the Earth where koala bears do live and instead of taking this as a privilege, the greedy machinery of progress send them to the fire, ash and death.
The brave firefighters and the local volunteers are doing their best to help the animals targeted by bushfire. They walk through the smoking mist, trying to locate the animals in need and to bring them out. The koala bears stay on the high trees but those who get on the ground are at risk to die from smoke inhalation, the relicts of fire flames and the overheating. It is so heartbreaking to see how those animals are embracing their rescuers and how they know they will be helped. At one moment, people and animals are one species that is hoping to cheat the revenge of the Earth. There is no difference between them, just one heart that is beating for a life for all.
The one family, about 50 miles south of the hospital, in Taree, has opened the doors of their home for all animals that are in need. They didn’t want to wait for the government to give instructions, they decided to step in and help to endangered wild animals. Their little house is a shelter for creatures in pain and they do not hesitate to give the first help and to do all possible and impossible, so the animals could be rescued. It is amazing to witness the rise of humanity in such a terrible conditions and to note that the good old Homo sapiens, with compassionate soul and love for all earthlings, is back, at least in our Australia.
Those animals didn’t deserve to suffer only because human race doesn’t know how to stop to abuse the nature. The ecosystem didn’t deserve to pay for our sins and the appetite for reaching more and taking all what has never belonged to us. The nature didn’t deserve to be betrayed for the thousand of dollars that are buying one’s happiness and another´ s misery. I can’t stop crying when I see dead or hurt koala bears in far away Australia because I know that this tragedy is mine too. I feel the pain they do feel and I feel the horror all Australian animals and people are experiencing. Their darkness is our too because we are all responsible for what is happening globally and locally. It is one dangerous chain that is going to kill our dreams about future of our Planet.
I am wondering when the issue of nature will be the top priority and when the so called international authorities will finally accept the fact that the real things we can’t buy with money. In the age of fire, floods or epidemics, the money is the last concern but the universal and forgotten values, like help, hope and empathy. The united hearts of all, the fact that all lives matter and that each of us can do something to save this Planet, before it is too late. If you can’t open your home for animals and people in need, open your soul for offering the help. You wont regret ever.
PRAY FOR AUSTRALIA. PRAY FOR KOALAS.PRAY FOR ALL, EVERYWHERE.
4 thoughts on “THE KOALA BEARS: GONE IN THE AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRE”
An excellent article ! It’s so sad to see our precious Koalas disappear in the fires. Climate change is real and is here ! We have to face the challenges of climate change before it’s too late !
I feel so sorry for those poor and innocent Koalas who have suffered a slow and terrible death ! My pain is immense and my sadness is ineffable !
Thank you, Sarah, for writing about this critical topic, and thank you for always writing from the heart !
Sarah’s informative and imperative article is directly-related to the extreme, negative consequences of the history of land clearing throughout the regions of the continent of Australasia where koalas exist, traditionally. Rather ironically, the noun ‘koala’ derives from the indigenous expression ‘dharug gula’ (i.e. no water; a reference to arid areas inhabited by the marsupial.
The contemporary koalas reach back to The Eocene Epoch, some 40 million years ago. They lived in rainforests, but, during The Miocene Epoch (23.3 – 5.3 million years ago), the continent began to become more arid, and the eucalyptus woodlands expanded: the koalas began to have a specialised diet to survive.
A report from The World Wildlife Fund in 2017 states that 53% had declined in north-east Australia and 26% in New South Wales; their main areas of existence.
During the late-19th and early-20th centuries, European colonials hunted the koala for its thick fur (up to 2 million pelts were being traded by the 1920s): women’s garments/accessories were the principal fur application (e.g. coat linings and muffs). The hunters used guns, poisons and traps. Public outcry emerged by the 1930s: Australia’s first wide-scale environmental issue.
Due to unregulated and expansive land clearing between 1800 and 1950, drought became a serious problem across many regions inhabited by koalas; as well as an increase in bushfires.
The majority of cleared land in Australia has been developed for cattle, sheep and wheat production. Some 46.3% of Australia is used for cattle grazing on marginal semi-deserts with natural vegetation. This land is too dry and infertile for any other agricultural use (apart from some kangaroo culling).
In New South Wales, much of the remaining forests and woodlands have been cleared, due to the high productivity of the land. Urban development is the cause of some land clearing; although, not a major driver.
Nevertheless, human ‘progress’ continues to encroach upon traditional lands of koalas and is bringing them closer and closer to extinction…
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