A Russian migrant who has lived in Australia for 30 years is documenting how surviving animals find sanctuary on his property as bushfires continue to devastate their habitat.
The death toll from southeastern Australia's bushfires stood at 33 people Friday. The fires have also killed millions of creatures, razed thousands of homes and destroyed an area about a third the size of Germany since September, according to Reuters.
“I deliver humanitarian aid to wombats, kangaroos and all the animals that come to me,” video blogger and tour operator Vladimir Balashov said in a Facebook post Thursday.
In an attached video, Balashov showed injured kangaroos lounging on his farm, an echidna resting under his burnt SUV and ant farms and spider holes that appeared after heavy rain last week.
Most of his neighbors’ homes burned down when the fires reached them on New Year’s Eve, Balashov told the Mash social media channel. Animals began flocking to his farm around that time, he said in the video interview published Thursday.
“We’ll help them live. I’m currently installing troughs and bringing them food, so we won,” he said.
Balashov began documenting the approaching flames, the Australian government’s firefighting efforts and the aftermath of the bushfires at least a week before they reached his farm.
“Life’s getting better. Hopefully, everything will be restored,” Balashov said in Thursday’s Facebook video.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.