OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium have more than 50 animals and plants from Australia bringing a little bit of the Outback to the Metro. Animal specialists said they want people to be able to enjoy animals here and in their natural habitat so they're trying to help.
"Right now that is the emergency, of dealing with the emergency of the animals but in the future...there is so much more," Curator of small mammals Christie Eddie said.
As of the start of 2020, more than a billion animals had died in the Australian bush fire, and over 12-million acres have burned.
"From the tiniest creatures that nobody knows exist that may even be in a hole surviving..when it comes out there's no food, there's no habitat left," Eddie said.
The devastation has pushed the Omaha Zoo to make a $5,000 donation to be split between Zoos Victoria and New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.
"It's everything from wallabies, to echidnas, the birds, and reptiles, the amphibians, everything is as impacted just as much as the koala," Eddie said.
Watching tragedy from so far away can leave us feeling helpless. Eddie said if we keep that mindset, it will only push rescue efforts back. Instead, she asks for patrons to help them for support.
"You can't give up. If we give up then all of this goes away and no one ever sees it again. So we can't give up. We have to keep moving forward," Eddie said.
Eddie tells Six News, the zoo is focused on immediate needs, but their help won't end there, and neither should ours. Eddie said recovery for Australia is years in the making.
"Right now in a lot of those places no one even know's what's the true story because it isn't even safe to get in there. Once they get into that phase, phase two, they do the assessment and they evaluate the habitats and what animals they can't find and then they have to decide what to do from there," Eddie said.