ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Bushfires have been burning in Australia since September — claiming the lives of 28 people and destroying more than 2,000 homes.
Our local zoo, the Seneca Park Zoo is looking to help. They’re fundraising to donate money to the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Relief Fund.
Countless animals in Australia are in need of food and hydration and the country’s record breaking heat is not expected to end anytime soon.
Zoo officials say they can’t fathom what folks and animal rescuers are facing as they effort to save and treat injured animals.
“This is very heartbreaking for all of the staff here, for our members and the community at large in Rochester,” Acting Zoo Director David Hamilton said.
Some wildlife experts estimate up to a billion animals have died or been impacted by the wildfires.
Seneca Zoo officials said their native habitats are being destroyed and won’t be able to go back and live where they once did before.
“The animals are in dire straights there. No food, no shelter, no water.”.
Not only have animals died, but they’ve lost their food source — the koalas who made it through the fire and survived are now having trouble finding viable eucalyptus to eat.
“It has been a drought for a long time, that’s why the bushfires are happening. It’s very sad for those animals. Any help that we can give them is needed.”
So far, the zoo has raised more than $8,000. Donations can be made right at the zoo’s front gate daily from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m., or on its Facebook page.
The fundraiser will continue through the end of the month.