There’s No Place Like Kangaroo Island. Can It Survive Australia’s Fires?It was a wildlife haven, a tourist magnet and an agricultural center — before half of it burned.
Trigger warning : Some images of injured or deceased animals may be distressing to some viewers
KANGAROO ISLAND, Australia — Kangaroo Island is Australia in miniature.
It is a wildlife haven, with its own varieties of kangaroos, echidnas (a spiny anteater) and cockatoos, as well as a koala population seen as insurance should disaster strike the species on the mainland. It is a tourism magnet, with luxury cliff-top lodges and beaches studded with sea lions. It is a farming hub, producing veal, wool, grain and honey for purveyors at home and beyond.
Now, Kangaroo Island is unrecognizable.
Wildfires that burned for weeks consumed half of the island — more than 800 square miles. Two people were killed, dozens of homes were destroyed, and wilderness parks were turned to cinders, littering the landscape with animal corpses. In a bush land once teeming with the activity of insects, birds, reptiles and mammals, there is only silence, and the scent of rot.
Story By Jamie Tarabay
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There's No Place Like Kangaroo Island. Can It Survive Australia's Fires?
It was a wildlife haven, a tourist magnet and an agricultural centre, before half of it burned.