Amid the Australian bushfire crisis, last week it was estimated that nearly half a billion animals have lost their lives - with that number rising rapidly every single day since. The tragedies have provoked emotional responses from people all over the world as humans and animals alike continue to suffer.
In fact, Robert Irwin, the teenage son of the late Steve Irwin, held back tears in a recent interview in which he discussed the impact of the bushfires on Australian wildlife.Check out the heartwrenching moment below:
In an interview on Sunrise, in which he spoke alongside his mum Terri, the 16-year-old said: "It's definitely an ongoing issue and we're just trying to do our best to help in any way we can. But it's a pretty tough situation. We're absolutely heartbroken."
Terri then delved into the horrific impact the fires have had on the country's koala population.
"The consideration with koalas is that their instinct is to go up, safety is in the top of the tree, and with a hot fire, eucalyptus trees have so much oil in their leaves they actually ignite and explode. So being able to treat koalas is few and far between because they're basically incinerated, which is absolutely heartbreaking," she said.This heartwrenching footage shows a kind-hearted grandma rescuing a severely injured koala who was unable to escape the raging fires:
"But now is the time we need to look at more than just setting aside habitat," Terri adds. "Koalas are classed as vulnerable and I think that after this event we need to really sit down and look at classing them as endangered and protecting our icons, our kangaroos, our koalas."
Meanwhile, Robert's sister Bindi took to Instagram to express her devastation over the destruction the bushfires have caused. The 21-year-old also pledged to save as many lives as possible, revealing that her family's wildlife hospital has treated over 90,000 animals.
In the caption of a post showing Bindi sitting in front of a picture of her late father, she wrote:
"With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much. I wanted to let you know that we are SAFE. There are no fires near us @AustraliaZoo or our conservation properties. Our Wildlife Hospital is busier than ever though, having officially treated over 90,000 patients. My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother. We will continue to honour her by being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can."