With massive bushfires destroying millions of acres across its states, Australia is in a state of emergency.
The country’s fire season has seen unprecedented devastation, especially in New South Wales. Dozens of people and an estimated 500 million animals have lost their lives. And the fires haven’t stopped burning yet.
While Australia needs our help now more than ever, many are already doing everything they can to save lives. Here are six stories of heroes who stepped up in the country’s time of need.
1. Despite being directly in the path of a bushfire, the Mogo Zoo in New South Wales kept all 200 of its animals safe.
Staff members stayed behind to put out spot fires and move animals into protective night enclosures. The zoo’s director, Chad Staples, even took some into his own house — including a tiger!
'There's a tiger to the back of the house.' 🐅🏠😅
Sara Ang from the wildlife park says all animals and staff are safe.
— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) December 31, 2019
2. Pink announced she will be pledging $500,000 to the Australian fire services working tirelessly on the front lines. Actress Nicole Kidman has pledged the same amount as well.
I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires. I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines. My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz ❤️ pic.twitter.com/kyjDbhoXpp
— P!nk (@Pink) January 4, 2020
3. Steve Irwin’s family continues to keep his legacy alive by treating more than 90,000 animals in the Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital.
“My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother,” Bindi Irwin wrote . “We will continue to honor her by being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can.”Instagram
4. New Zealand has sent in military troops as well as an additional 22 firefighters to join the 157 firefighters already deployed in Australia.
Papua New Guinea also has 1,000 soldiers and firefighters waiting on standby, while the government of Vanuatu has pledged 250,000 Australian dollars to the Rural Fire Service.Twitter
5. In less than a week, Australian comedian Celeste Barber has raised over $26 million through her Facebook fundraiser for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service & Brigades.
You can still donate here .Facebook
6. Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank each and every one of the brave firefighters risking their lives to save a continent on fire.Watch a crew from Victoria rejoice with a “rain dance” as drops fall in the video below.
Our hearts are with everyone affected by the fires as well as the heroes dedicated to ending them. Thank you to everyone involved. Your bravery and generosity is astounding.
Please share this story and encourage others to help however they can. You can find a list of more ways to help the victims here .