Ozarks-based animal experts weigh in on ecological impact of Australian fires

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Reports say nearly 800 million native animals have been affected by Australia’s bushfire crisis in New South Wales. 

But, how have they been affected? We sent a KOLR 10 crew to Springfield’s Dickerson Park Zoo today to learn exactly that. 

Ken Harmon has worked at the Dickerson Park Zoo for roughly 28 years. In that time, he’s gotten very familiar with kangaroos, a species largely affected by the bushfires.

He says a kangaroo’s main problem as a result of this fire will be habitat loss. Habitat loss can lead to starvation and reproduction problems. Otherwise, kangaroos are very adaptive and can eat a variety of forms. 

Harmon says the bushfires are a lot harder on koalas because they are a sedentary species. They can’t move to new areas as quickly as a kangaroo can. If their food supply is burned, their fate is “pretty well-sealed,” he says.

 He says the best way people can help the situation is through donating. 
This is a developing story. 

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