Thousands of koalas feared dead in wildfires
PERTH, AUSTRALIA » Thousands of koalas are feared to have died in a wildfireravaged area north of Sydney, further diminishing Australia’s iconic marsupial, and the fire danger increased in the country’s east on Saturday as temperatures soared.
The midnorthern coast of New South Wales was home to up to 28,000 koalas, but wildfires have significantly reduced their population in recent months. Koalas are native to Australia and are one of the country’s most beloved animals, but they’ve been under threat because of a loss of habitat.
“Up to 30% of their habitat has been destroyed,” Australia’s environment minister, Sussan Ley, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “We’ll know more when the fires are calmed down and a proper assessment can be made.”
Images shared of koalas drinking water after being rescued from the wildfires have gone viral on social media in recent days.