Robert Irwin Gets Emotional Talking About How Australia Fires Are Affecting Koalas and Wildlife

By
Robert Irwin
Sunrise

Robert Irwin and his mom, Terri Irwin, are heartbroken over the devastating wildfires in Australia.

The Irwins are doing everything they can to help as many animals affected by the raging blazes in their native land via their Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital team. However, during an interview with Australian morning show Sunrise earlier this week, the 16-year-old son of the late Steve Irwin fought back tears while discussing the large number of animals that have died.

"We're seeing all kinds of different injuries," Robert told the outlet. "Obviously smoke inhalation and burns are happening frequently, but also animals are going into areas where they're not supposed to be to escape the horrific conditions."

"This means they're getting hit by cars and are being attacked by domestic animals, so there's a horrific knock on effect," he said.

“It's definitely an ongoing issue and we're just trying to do our best to help in any way we can,” the teen said. "It's a pretty tough situation. We're absolutely heartbroken."

This week, ecologists at the University of Sydney and World Wildlife Fund Australia estimated that over 1 billion wild animals have died due to the raging fires. It is also estimated that 25,000 koalas have been wiped out.

"Koala instinct is to go up, as safety is in the top of the tree," Terri explained. "Eucalyptus trees have so much oil that they ignite and actually explode in a fire. That means being able to treat and help koalas is few and far between because they're basically incinerated."

Terri continued, adding that at this point: "Koalas are classed as vulnerable, and I think after this event, we need to really sit down and look at classing them as endangered and protecting our icons. Our kangaroos, our koalas, [they are] inspirational to Australians as well as our visitors from overseas."

The Irwins and their team have already helped over 900,000 animals who have been affected.

"Proud to be one of the many who are coming together to try to affect some positive change during this incredibly difficult time. We’re here to help where we can for wildlife and to treat the survivors," Robert wrote on his Instagram. "Again, my greatest thank you goes to Australia’s incredible firefighters. If there’s anyone who can band together and lend a hand in crisis, it’s Australians."

A number of celebrities have raised awareness and donated to various fire relief funds. Kylie Jenner, Chris Hemsworth and Elton John donated $1 million. Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman pledged $500,000, as did Pink. 

ET caught up with Urban and Kidman at the Golden Globes, where they opened up about about how their home in Australia was under threat and how they were taking it "day by day."

Watch below to hear what they said. 

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