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Jerusalem zoo sends aid to animals injured in Australia fires

Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo has donated medical supplies to aid animals in Victoria, Australia, in the wake of the devastating wildfires raging there.

The wildfires, fueled by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September, months earlier than is typical for Australia’s annual wildfire season. So far, the blazes have killed 25 people, destroyed 2,000 homes and scorched 13 million acres of land, also killing upward of 480 million animals.

Local wildlife experts say that the fires have pushed many species toward extinction.

“The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and its staff are distressed by the horrific fires in Australia and the widespread devastation to its unique wildlife,” the zoological park said in a statement.

The zoo announced it has donated funds and medical supplies to the Animal Rescue Collective, adding, “The supplies will be purchased in Australia and sent directly to the volunteers on the ground.”

An Adelaide wildlife rescuer carries an injured koala on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Half the island’s 50,000 koalas are estimated to have perished in recent bushfires | Photo: AP/David Mariuz

Ecologists speaking with The Guardian have expressed grave concerns for the future of unique and endangered wildlife on Kangaroo Island, where the fires started with lightning strikes in the Flinders Chase National Park.

The fires have so far burned a third of the island’s area, inflicting devastating damage to the habitats of several unique and endangered species.

The Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem has a long relationship with Australia and its Australia Yard houses kangaroos, bettongs, tawny frogmouths, a cassowary, blue-tongue lizards, a kookaburra, and more.

The zoo also houses a colony of 16 flying foxes sent from a special bat shelter in Sydney, where they were rehabilitated after being injured in farmers’ fruit-protecting nets.