January 3, 2020, proved to be a black Friday for the Koalas of Australia, after a massive bushfire engulfed the Kangaroo Island in South Australia, thereby wiping over half their population in the small island. By Tanvi Jain  

The fire spread across 1,55,000 hectares of land and claimed two human lives as well. The blaze remained active even on January 5, after which a ‘watch and act’ alert was issued for Stokes Bay near Lathami Conservation Park on the island’s north coast. A total fire ban was also declared across Kangaroo Island. 

The Penrith suburb of Sydney recorded January 4 as the hottest day with a soaring temperature of 48.9 degree Celsius.  

Shocking videos of burnt bodies of millions of animals spread like sheet, soon went viral. A convoy of army vehicles with up to 100 reservists also rushed to the island to rescue the injured animals. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the deployment of an additional 3,000 defense force reservists, and an amount of USD 2 billion for relief support. 

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Lost for words…heart broken…feeling so helpless! These are the sentiments that the country has been feeling to the depths of its soul. But in the midst of all of this, we have seen incredible displays of courage, community and commitment. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thanks seems so pitiful to say at this time, but thank you to all who have helped out across the world, from the incredibly brave firefighters, to all those supporting them, from the volunteers at all the organisations providing aid for the people and the animals, those who have packed relief kits and those who have donated. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There have been many posts about the incredible organisations that you can donate to directly, but I wanted to let you know about 2 events that are happening in Perth to help out the victims of these unprecedented fires: @thedutchtradingco have teamed up with some great local breweries and the proceeds of all beers sold from these Karma Kegs this weekend will go directly to the Bushfire Appeal @longchimperth are hosting Vineaid on Monday Jan 13th with all proceeds from ticket sales and silent auction items going directly to @vinteloper who lost EVERYTHING in the Adelaide Hills fires. Tickets via their SM @bread_in_common together with @_bibandtucker_ , @manukawoodfirekitchen and @simonjohnsonprovidore are holding a fundraiser dinner 31st January with all proceeds to @redcrossau. Tickets via their SM @odyssea_citybeach are hosting a long table dinner Thursday 20th February. Tickets via their SM ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Know of any other local events happening to help those in need? Feel free to post below! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ WE ARE ONE….BUT WE ARE MANY!!!

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It has been feared that over 30 per cent of the Koala population has disappeared after the incident. Approximately 300 million trees have also been destroyed in this ecological disaster.  

The Queensland silver-headed antechinus, the Australasian bitternthe hip pocket frog, and the potoroo, are some of the species feared endangered after the bushfire. 

The Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, which is a major tourist attraction has also suffered structural damage as a result of the deadly fire. 

So far over 300 people are waiting at a relief centre in Kingscote and over 600 properties are without electricity. As many as 500 firefighters are continuously trying to douse the flames.  

Earlier in September 2019, a similar wildfire had claimed at least 23 human lives and destroyed over 1,500 homes. 

Related: It’s Not Just Amazon Rainforest That’s Burning – Bolivian Fires Are Threatening Life, Too!