The Australian wildfires blaze on - and the pictures of suffering wildlife will hurt your heart

A billion animals are dead...

Australian wildfires

A billion animals are dead...

The wildfires in Australia have been catastrophic for the country's wildlife, killing nearly 500million birds, reptiles and mammals in New South Wales alone.

Images of suffering kangaroos, koalas and baby bears have started going viral across the internet, as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally admitted the country's devastating bushfires are linked to climate change.

He said, 'There is no dispute in this country about the issue of climate change globally and its effect on global weather patterns and that includes how it impacts in Australia. I have to correct the record here. I have seen a number of people suggest that somehow the government does not make this connection. The government has always made this connection.'

But it would be unfair to solely point the finger at Morrison, as it is also world leaders of past and present generations who have failed to act to reduce their country's environmental footprint, and thereby facilitated a dramatic shift in the earth’s climate.

Today, cooler temperatures and light rain have brought temporary relief from some of the blazes that have ravaged New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia - but the crisis is far from over.

At the Golden Globes pre-awards event, Nicole Kidman was said to be 'visibly upset'. The star and has husband Keith Urban have donated 500,000 US dollars (£382,000) to Australia's fire-fighting fund.

US pop star Pink has also donated the same amount. She tweeted, 'Am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires. I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines. My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz'.

Meanwhile, teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg has called for Australia’s politicians to take action on the bushfires. The 17-year-old took to Instagram to share a picture of a kangaroo fleeing a blaze in Conjola, New South Wales, and wrote a lengthy caption urging for change.

A photo posted by on

#AustralianWildFires is currently trending on Twitter - let's continue to keep the conversation alive and pray for Australia.

Olivia – who rebranded as Liv a few years ago – is a freelance digital writer at Marie Claire UK. She recently swapped guaranteed sunshine and a tax-free salary in Dubai for London’s constant cloud and overpriced public transport. During her time in the Middle East, Olivia worked for international titles including Cosmopolitan, HELLO! and Grazia. She transitioned from celebrity weekly magazine new! in London, where she worked as the publication’s Fitness & Food editor. Unsurprisingly, she likes fitness and food, and also enjoys hoarding beauty products and recycling.