Thousands of kilograms of vegetables have been dropped over New South Wales in a bid to feed the wildlife devastated by Australia’s bushfires.
Huge quantities of food, including sweet potato and carrots were flung from the air for wallaby colonies, according to Matt Kean, the minister for Energy and Environment for New South Wales.
“#NPWS staff today dropped thousands of kgs of food (Mostly sweet potato and carrots) for our Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby colonies across NSW,” Mr Kean tweeted.
He also shared an image of one of the fire-affected creatures munching on a carrot, with the caption “One happy customer”.
Earlier in January, a professor from the University of Sydney estimated 480 million animals had already been killed since the bushfires began in New South Wales alone.
Academics have since suggested that more than a billion animals could have been killed in total across Australia, as more than 10m hectares burned over the span of just a few months.
At least 28 people have been killed, and more than 2,000 homes destroyed.
Crews battling the country’s fires said they have been able to turn from defence to offence for the first time in weeks thanks to a break in the weather.
After weeks of criticism over the handling of the bushfires, Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday he will propose a national review into the response to the disaster.
The Australian bush has been burning for nearly three months and the crisis is becoming increasingly political, as the country looks at the causes and the government’s response.
“There is obviously a need for a national review of the response,” Morrison said in an interview with ABC television.
Asked whether it should be a Royal Commission, a powerful judicial inquiry, Morrison said, “I think that is what would be necessary and I will be taking a proposal through the cabinet to that end, but it must be done with consultations with the states and territories.”
Morrison said that the inquiry would examine the response to the crisis, including the deployment of emergency services to battle the fires at a state and local level, the role of the federal government, and the impact of climate change.
Bushfires are common during Australia’s summer months, but this fire season started unusually early, often moving quickly and unpredictably, and leaving swaths of the drought-stricken land a scorched earth.
Cooler weather conditions over the weekend have brought a temporary respite, but a firefighter died on duty in Victoria, where new flames sparked. Authorities said the risk was far from over and more hot weather is expected.