Shocking footage shows thousands of burnt animal bodies along a country road in an Australian town devastated by bushfires.
Locals from the rural town of Batlow, New South Wales, shared heartbreaking videos and pictures as they drove back home this weekend.
The sky is still grey with smoke as they discover blackened sheep and cattle piled up on the side of the road.
It appears they attempted to break down fences in a desperate bid to stay alive.
ABC cameraman Matt Roberts posted on Twitter: ‘Absolutely gut wrenching driving into Batlow this morning, never seen anything like it,’
‘Sorry to have to share these images… it’s completely heartbreaking. Worst thing I’ve seen. Story must be told.’
Elsewhere in south Australia, thousands of koalas and kangaroos are feared dead on Kangaroo Island after a fire decimated protected nature reserves.
It is estimated almost half a billion animals have been killed in Australia’s raging wildfires with fears entire species may have been wiped out.
Ecologists from the University of Sydney believe 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been lost since September with the figure likely to continue to soar.
Devastating fires have ripped through the states of Victoria and New South Wales in the past couple of days alone, leaving several people dead or missing.
Scores of homes along Australia’s east coast have been razed to the ground leaving thousands of residents stranded and many forced to take shelter in the only safe place left available to them, the ocean.
Harrowing pictures and videos have captured kangaroos desperately attempting to flee great walls of flames while rescue teams have been met by the charred bodies of thousands of koalas.
Others reported seeing cockatoos falling dead out of trees and farmers have fled only to return to their burned land and find it littered with the bodies of livestock.
The world has struggled to take in the scale of destruction caused by Australia’s worst wildfire season on record, with pictures of the sky turning a blazing red likened to apocalyptic horror films.
Koalas have been among the hardest hit of Australia’s native animals because they are slow moving and only eat leaves from the eucalyptus tree, which are filled with oil, making them highly flammable.
Up to 8000 of the animals — a third of the entire koala population of the NSW mid-north coast — are believed to have been killed in less than four months.
Nature Conservation Council ecologist Mark Graham told the Australian parliament that the fires have burned ‘so hot and so fast’ that there has been ‘significant mortality’ of animals, particularly in trees.
He added: ‘There is such a big area now that is still on fire and still burning that we will probably never find the bodies.’
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