The devastating bushfires in New South Wales, Australia, have finally all been contained, officials announced Thursday.
The fires, which began in September after a three-year drought, destroyed the natural habitats of some of the country’s most beloved wildlife, including koalas and kangaroos. Authorities in New South Wales and Queensland, areas where the blazes got most severe, declared states of emergency on November 11. The burning hasn’t ceased completely, but rain finally brought relief this week.
One billion animals are feared dead from the blazes.
Emergency-relief workers and animal carers have rescued some of the vulnerable creatures that were left without families, food, or homes. In New South Wales, wildlife carers Gary Wilson and Julie Willis opened their homes to take in injured and orphaned baby animals.
According to Reuters, the partners had been taking care of baby koalas, usually rescued after their mothers were hit by cars, for 25 years. So now they’ve taken in six young kangaroos struggling to survive because of burns, a lack of food, and ash-polluted water.
“We didn’t have children ourselves; this is what we spend our time doing,” Willis told Reuters. “We think it’s worthy — a worthy cause — looking after our babies no matter what they are, whether they are kangaroos, echidnas or wombats.”
See how the rescued baby kangaroos are adapting to life after the fires.