Australia wildfires: Carrots and sweet potatoes airdropped to wallabies in fire-ravaged region

‘Operation Rock Wallaby’ helps feed animals as blazes rage in New South Wales

Zoe Tidman
Sunday 12 January 2020 17:00 GMT
Australia wildfires: Carrots and sweet potatoes airdropped to stranded wallabies

Carrots and sweet potatoes have been dropped from the air to help wallabies in a fire-ravaged region in Australia.

Thousands of kilograms of food has been delivered to the animals in Operation Rock Wallaby, according to the minister for energy and environment for New South Wales.

Matt Kean shared an image of a person throwing carrots from a helicopter, explaining that the vegetable and sweet potatoes have made up most of the provisions given to the animals affected by the bushfires sweeping the region.

Under a picture of a wallaby nibbling on a carrot, the minister said: “One happy customer.”

New South Wales, whose National Parks and Wildlife Service led the efforts to feed its local brush-tailed rock wallaby population, has been one of the worst-hit regions by wildfires.

Millions of acres of land in Australia has been torched by blazes since September, endangering animals and destroying their food sources.

One billion animals are estimated to have died in Australia’s most devastating wildfire season on record, with conservationists even warning entire species could have been wiped out.

Chris Dickman, a University of Sydney professor, has estimated that 800 million animals may have been killed in New South Wales alone.

Twenty-eight people have been killed and thousands of homes have been destroyed in the blazes.

Over 100 fires burned in New South Wales on Sunday.

Scott Morrison, the Australian prime minister, said in a weekend interview that he could have interacted with members of the public affected by fires better, after a spate of tense encounters saw people heckling the PM and refusing the shake his hand.

He has faced criticism for his handing of the crisis, such as holidaying in Hawaii while fires raged and defending Australia’s coal industry in the wake of criticism over the government’s climate change policies. .

Additional reporting by Reuters

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