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The grim clear up of dead wildlife in Australia's bushfires

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 13, 2020 - Duration: 01:09s

The grim clear up of dead wildlife in Australia's bushfires

Australia and New Zealand military personnel searched for and cleaned up dead animals on Kangaroo Island, as bushfires left up to a billion animals dead or at risk.

Lauren Anthony reports.

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The grim clear up of dead wildlife in Australia's bushfires

Australia's bushfires have left up to a billion animals dead - or at risk in the aftermath.

On Saturday (January 11) the scene on Kangaroo Island was a grim one.

Military personnel from both Australia and New Zealand began the clean up of dead animals, recovering carcasses from what has previously been a wildlife-rich tourist attraction.

Major Tony Purdy of the Australia Defence Force said the job, though difficult, was a "vital" one.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MAJOR TONY PURDY OF AUSTRALIA DEFENCE FORCE, SAYING: "It's been a, it's been an extraordinary day, to be honest.

It's never a good thing to come across deceased wildlife such as koalas and kangaroos.

However, the role we have here is very, very vital and we will continue to be here as long as we needed." Fire services are still working to strengthen containment lines, ahead of worsening weather conditions that are expected to exacerbate the fires further.

The Australian government has called the crisis "an ecological disaster," with critically endangered species hugely at risk.

According to a Newspoll survey, public support for the country's prime minister Scott Morrison has slumped to its lowest levels amid widespread fury over the government's handling of the fires.

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