In 2019 and 2020, the wildfires in Australia killed or displaced three billion animals. Now, the country is being affected by its worst flooding in 60 years. According to the BBC, the Australia floods have resulted in three feet of rain covering roads and flooding homes in New South Wales. And Sydney’s biggest dam “discharged 500 gigalitres on Sydney—equivalent to the volume of Sydney Harbour.”
Thousands of forced evacuations have ensued as conditions worsen and homes fall victim to the floods. And while two human casualties have been reported, Australia’s wildlife has been greatly affected, too. Animals like snakes and spiders are struggling to survive, and many are seeking refuge in areas of higher ground, like inside houses.
Emergency Update— WIRES (@WIRESWildlife) March 22, 2021
Over the weekend, this Eastern Grey Kangaroo was rescued in a collaborative effort with WIRES and Total Fauna Solutions. Called in by a member of public, there was concern for this Kangaroo which had been washed into a waterway. #NSWFloods#AustraliaFloods http://redirect.viglink.com?key=34cf4a3a31f957811e9ef0adaf233755&out=https://burrow.com
In addition, kangaroos and wallabies have drowned, underground animals like quolls, echidnas, and wombats have gotten trapped in their burrows or swept away, and birds are waterlogged and sick. It goes without saying that they need help—and they need it fast.
“We’ve lost a lot of animals this weekend,” Nat Blatchford, a member of the animal rescue service Wildlife in Need of Care, told the Guardian. “It’s been raining since Thursday non-stop. We’ve had exhausted kangaroos coming up and sitting at back doors. We’ve had birds going into homes.”
Even ocean life has been affected. Rescuers say hundreds of endangered baby loggerhead sea turtles have been washed ashore, as well as many hawksbill sea turtles. The videos of these animals trying to survive are heartbreaking. Many have gained attention online, like this viral video of a kangaroo finding its way to safety:
Cows and other livestock are in danger, too. One man shared 85 of his cattle became caught up in the high water and tree vines. Only 11 cows and two calves were brought to safety, and the rest are still missing. Another man shared nearly 200 of his cows were swept away and still remain unaccounted for.
How to Help Animals Trapped in the Australia Floods
Even if you’re witnessing the disaster from far away, there are ways you can help rescue and aid organizations on the ground. If you can, donate to organizations like the Red Cross. And to help the animals, donate to organizations like WIRES, Humane Society International, and RSPCA NSW.
Lastly, if you’re local to a threatened area, you can sign up to be a State Emergency Service volunteer, although the required training time means you probably won’t be able to help with the current floods.