A disaster response team has been deployed to Kangaroo Island in South Australia to begin a search and rescue mission for thousands of koalas and other animals caught in bushfires.
The team formed by the animal charity Humane Society International are there to rescue wildlife suffering from burns, injuries, smoke inhalation and other trauma.
They will also build water and food stations to sustain the uninjured animals who managed to survive.
But according to Humane Society International senior specialist in disaster response, Kelly Donithan, conditions on the ground are extremely harrowing:
"These are some of the toughest scenes I've ever witnessed as an animal rescuer. The bodies of charred animals as far as the eye can see,"
"However, as we set out each day on search and rescue, we're still finding animals alive, injured, dazed or traumatized, and it's such a relief to be able to give them immediate life-saving assistance."
"We've seen kangaroos with devastating burn injuries and dehydrated koalas gasping for water. Amidst all this death, every time we find an animal alive it feels like a miracle."
Koalas may now be designated an endangered species as so many have been killed.
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