Video footage shows dozens of kangaroos fleeing bushfires in Australia
Heartbreaking video footage has shown dozens of kangaroos fleeing bushfires in Australia as the crisis continues.
The video, posted on social media, shows the terrified creatures hopping through the smoke-filled Monaro grasslands near Bredbo in New South Wales (NSW).
Mitchell Lyons, who captured the footage, told Reuters that the closest bushfire from the grassland was about 10km (six miles) away and the kangaroos were probably coming out from the bushes to stop for a drink.
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The footage comes as thousands of people were forced to flee to beaches for safety as the fires raged on.
Some kangaroos have already had to be treated for burnt feet pads after being rescued from the fires.
Officials fear that 30% of one koala colony on the country's north-east coast, or between 4,500 and 8,400 animals, have been lost in the recent fires.
Authorities have no exact figure on how many native animals have been killed but experts say it is likely to be in the millions.
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About 4,000 people in Victoria were forced to take shelter on the beach on Monday in the holiday town of Mallacoota, with another 4,000 displaced people believed to be sheltering in community centres in the town.
A father and son have already died defending their home in Cobargo, New South Wales (NSW), and five others are missing.
Volunteer firefighter Samuel McPaul, 28, died when what was described as “a fire tornado” flipped his truck off the ground while he attended a blaze near Albury, southern NSW.
Prime minister Scott Morrison posted a video paying tribute to him, saying: “As 2019 draws to a close, the devastating impact of these terrible bushfires continues.”