In Australia, the bushfires have killed about a billion animals so far
According to an estimation by a scientist, more than 800 million animals were killed in New South Wales alone.
NBC News reported University of Sydney professor of ecology Chris Dickman saying that he is revising his estimate of 480 million animals affected by the fires, as the number of animals affected across Australia likely exceeds a billion.
Speaking to Vox, Dickman said the estimation was derived based on the size of land burned by the wildfires, which is about 15.6 million acres - about the size of the entire state of Sabah.
Other than being burned to death, animals are dying because of indirect causes, such as starvation, loss of habitat, dehydration, and injuries.
Following the news about the massive number of wildlife affected in Australia, a Malaysian Twitter user initiated a plan to get local veterinarians to fly there to help
The user, known as Indraveni K, tweeted at AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes and the national airline Malaysia Airlines, asking them if they are "willing to sponsor flights for Malaysian vets and students (to go) to New South Wales, Australia (and) help the rehabilitation of injured animals".
Indraveni then explained that the sponsorship is to get animal experts sent to Australia for a two-week or a month period. They will be stationed there to help bush fire animals affected by the bush fires go through rehabilitation.
She added that each volunteer will be vetted thoroughly to ensure none of them will take advantage of the situation.
This is a Malaysian initiative.
However, after Indraveni secured the free flight tickets for local vets, she found out that the wildlife rescue organisations in Australia are not actually looking for volunteers
Taking to her Facebook page, she wrote that, "Firstly, I have to thank everyone for the support, it's been overwhelming."
She then apologised "for jumping the gun on this matter", saying that she found out after writing to Australian wildlife rescue organisations, such as WIRES, Macquarie Koala Hospital, and Victoria Zoo, that they are not looking for volunteers.
"(They) would prefer donations instead."
She then shared links for donation efforts where Malaysians can do their bit
According to Indraveni, these are the places you can support:
- You can donate to save koalas in Kangaroo Islands GoFundMe here.
- You can donate to save koalas in Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, New South Wales at GoFundMe here.
- You can donate to adopt koalas across Australia at World Wild Life here.
- You can donate and help WIRES rescue more animals during this trying time at their website here.