San Antonio Zoo sending veterinary staff to Australia to help animals affected by wildfires

Full extent of damage caused by bush fires is still unknown

SAN ANTONIO – Bush fires have been ravaging Australia in recent months with an estimated 1.25 billion animals killed thus far, according to World Wildlife Fund.

Donations and volunteers have been flooding into Australia in the wake of the deadly fires and San Antonio Zoo officials are lending a helping hand as well.

“We are in contact with our zoological peers both in Australia and across the United States. We are now preparing to send veterinary staff to Australia to assist with the efforts of Taronga Zoo, helping animals affected by wildfires," said San Antonio Zoo spokesperson Jennifer Pue.

People may remember a viral story that came out in November showing a woman who literally gave the shirt off her back to save a singed koala that was caught in a bush fire.

VIDEO: Woman gives shirt off her back to save koala caught in bush fire

Another heart-wrenching video was shared last week that showed hundreds of animals that died trying to flee the fires.

San Antonio Zoo is collecting donations to help with relief and rescue efforts to help a hurting Australia.

“Donations to San Antonio Zoo’s Australia Wildlife Fund will help us provide the critical staff and supplies needed for rescue, recovery or care of animals injured or orphaned in the fires once we head to Australia,” Pue said.

Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames

Australian officials have previously said the full extent of the damage can’t be determined until the fires are extinguished.

New South Wales has declared a state of emergency and Victoria a state of disaster, and major fires are raging in South Australia and Western Australia, according to the WWF.

Anyone wishing to donate to San Antonio Zoo’s Australia Wildlife Fund can do so at SAZoo.org.

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