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Australia is currently experiencing an unprecedented fire season, exacerbated by the warming climate, resulting in unfathomable loss of life and destruction of its wildlife and ecosystems. While firefighters and rescue workers work tirelessly to salvage the remains of their once-flourishing environment, stories of resilience, both animal and human, arise. Nature has been working with a team of producers on the ground to cover the devastating, heroic rescue and recovery stories from Southwest Australia. Now, Fred Kaufman, the ship’s executive producer, has announced that the program will dedicate a full hour to the tragedy. He’s discussed Nature’s coverage with us.
When did coverage start?
As a voice for the natural world, we knew it was important for Nature to be part of this conversation. We started discussing how to contribute to the coverage about a week after the fires began, but knew that a full hourlong film wouldn’t be ready in time to make a difference, and help the efforts to extinguish the fires and rescue animals as was imminently needed. We contacted Australian producers with whom we’ve worked before (Nature: Cracking The Koala Code) to report and share stories of courageous rescues and selfless rehabilitation efforts, and we published as soon as we could.
What are your goals in doing this series?
I wanted to show the humanity that reveals itself through a catastrophe. The people who dedicate themselves to saving and rehabilitating these injured and traumatized animals is inspiring and there are never enough stories of hope in today’s media.
Anything else Nature has been doing in Australia during the wildfires?
We’re so pleased with these short pieces that we’ve decided to produce a full hour on this story. Hopefully we will be able to put this extraordinary event in context with respect to the environmental factors, the toll on wildlife and, of course, the saving of individual animals.
For more information follow @PBSNature
IMAGE SOURCE: Anja Taylor