Australia Helps Endangered Animals Affected by Wildfires by Air Dropping Food and Water

updated Jan 14, 2020
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As wildfires continue to blaze a charred path across nearly the entirety of the Australian continent, most of the photos and stories we’ve seen and heard are as appropriately devastating and depressing as one might expect. But as the often-quoted Mr. Rogers’ line goes, “Look for the helpers.” While the quote was originally intended to provide comfort for children in the face of scary events, it works just the same for adults who need to feel hopeful in the face of tragedy.

Well, here’s one story (among many) of those helpers in Australia this week. In order to help the animals stranded by the wildfires — including the endangered species of brush-tailed rock-wallabies — a helicopter has dropped close to 5,000 pounds of sweet potatoes, carrots, and even water in some areas in New South Wales, reports the Washington Post. The state’s environment minister said it was the most widespread drop ever conducted for the endangered species.

Apparently wallabies often survive fires (while annual brushfires are typical in Australia, this year’s are on a previously unknown scale), but they are then left in a barren environment, which makes it hard for them to find the food they need to carry on. This large drop of food is intended to help the problem.

With one billion animals already estimated to have been lost to the fires, including entire species, many Australians are doing what they can to try to help those that remain, even if the outlook is bleak, considering that their entire habitat has been ravaged. The officials plan to continue offering the food until they feel that the natural resources are sufficient for the animals’ survival. The environment minister also mentioned that “when we can, we are also setting up cameras to monitor the number and variety of animals there.”