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The "heartbreaking" story behind the viral pic of a kangaroo killed in the Australian bushfire

Australian photographer Brad Fleet clicked a photo of a kangaroo trapped in a wire fence and sadly burned to death, shocking people everywhere.

The "heartbreaking" story behind the viral pic of a kangaroo killed in the Australian bushfire
Image Source: Emergency Warning Issued For Hawkesbury As Bushfire Nears Sydney Outskirts. COLO HEIGHTS, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

As you are probably already aware, Australia is currently being ravaged by intense bushfires. The strength of these fires is far greater than what the country ever expected or was prepared for. Therefore, their resources have been incredibly strained, pushing every last firefighter and doctor to the test. Australian photographers, too, have been doing their best to document the climate atrocity. Recently, a distressing and graphic image of a kangaroo trapped in a wire fence and sadly burned to death surfaced online. The photo, taken by Australian photographer Brad Fleet, quickly went viral. In an interview with PEOPLE Magazine, he opened up about the "heartbreaking" story behind the gut-wrenching photograph.



"It was overwhelmingly devastating," Fleet stated, remembering what it was like to find the baby kangaroo in that position. "The kangaroo was like a statue. It was difficult to photograph, not just because of the scene, but because it was hard to see. It blended into the background because everything was black and brown and covered in ash." In the photo, the joey is seen with its charred arms still wrapped around the wires of the fence. It had managed to weave its head under one of the wires but was sadly unable to escape in time. The fire ended up engulfing the poor animal.


The scene was eerily quiet according to the photographer. Fleet narrated, "It was a heartbreaking scene. Everything was so still, dry, and hot. There was no fire. There was no movement. The kangaroo looked frozen in time, more like a volcano had erupted than a fire had swept through. I don’t remember hearing any birds and you couldn’t see any other life. At times, you could smell other animals that had been killed. It looked like it was a quick struggle, but the reality is you don’t know how far the kangaroo had been chased up the valley by the fire before it was overcome. You don’t know how long it was trying to cross the fence."


Unfortunately, this is not the worst of it. As Australia's summer sets in, the country and its wildlife should only expect even more tragic tales such as this joey's. "The great tragedy is still yet to come for Australia’s wildlife that has survived the fires," Fleet said. "It is the start of summer and traditionally our hottest months are yet to come. There is nothing left for the animals to eat, and with very little rainfall predicted, they will starve. It is an absolute disaster." Like many, the photographer believes manmade climate change is to blame. He affirmed, "The time to stop debating climate change has arrived. While politicians and the public waste time on this argument, the world gets warmer. I have never experienced so many extremely hot days in my life, what are my children going to face in theirs?" The wildfires have taken the lives of over one billion animals. The death toll is only set to rise. It's time for action.


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