BEERWAH, Australia – Members of the Irwin family say they have rescued and treated more than 90,000 animals, many of which were hurt in the wildfires that continue to rage in Australia.
Robert Irwin, the son of late wildlife expert Steve Irwin, says the 90,000th patient at the family’s Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital was an orphaned platypus named Ollie.
“We’re so proud of this world-class facility!” wrote Robert in an Instagram post. “Thank you for your support - with pressures from drought to bushfires, wildlife need our help now more than ever.”
Robert’s sister, Bindi, wrote on Instagram that the family’s wildlife hospital is “busier than ever before” due in large part to the fires, which the University of Sydney says have claimed the lives of about 480 million animals since September.
“Many of the affected animals are likely to have been killed directly by the fires, with others succumbing later due to the depletion of food and shelter resources and predation from introduced feral cats and red foxes,” wrote the University in a statement.
Bindi assured fans that she and her family are safe and that there are no fires near the zoo or its conservation properties, which are owned by her mother, Terri Irwin.
“With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much,” wrote Bindi.
Bindi shared a heartbreaking photo of a possum named Blossom that was admitted to the wildlife hospital after being caught in one of the bushfires in Queensland. Sadly, she says the animal ended up passing away.
“Devastatingly this beautiful girl didn’t make it even after working so hard to save her life,” wrote Bindi. “I want to thank you for your kind words and support. This is the heart-wrenching truth, every day is a battle to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
According to Bindi, her family will continue to save the lives of as many animals as possible in honor of her grandmother, who the wildlife hospital is dedicated to.