‘Many billions’ of animals feared dead in Australian bushfires


Billions of animals are now believed to have been wiped-out in the catastrophic Australian bushfires — with scientists also warning at least one species is extinct, according to a new report.

After warning last week that half a billion animals may have been lost, experts revised the death toll, saying the number is now believed to be in the “many, many, many billions,” The Age reported.

“We are all very, very worried,” Euan Ritchie, associate professor of wildlife ecology at Deakin University, told the newspaper on Wednesday.

“Realistically, the number of animals killed in these fires is many, many, many billions. And we’ll never know what that true number is, because for some species we don’t know their abundance and what we have lost,” he added.

The blazes have claimed at least 25 human lives, authorities say, and razed an area twice the size of Maryland.

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