It has devastating to see the impact the fires are having across Australia and the global audience has been able to witness this through photographs/videos that are viral across social media. Hopefully through increased awareness increases the support that can be given to support the habitats of millions of animals. We interviewed Brad Fleet, the photographer behind this viral photograph to understand the story better.
A kangaroo tries to escape the fire in Adelaide. (Brad Fleet)
The story behind the Kangaroo photograph
It was located on a fence that ran along a creek at the bottom of the valley that had been completely destroyed. It was not far from where the Cudlee Creek fire had started two weeks earlier.
It wasn't until I started photographing up close you fully understood the struggle. Although there wasn't strong signs that suggested it lasted a long time, there was no way of telling how long it had tried to get past the fence. Most likely the fire had followed it up the creek bed until it was overcome with smoke.
It was difficult to photograph because it blended into the landscape. Everything including the Kangaroo was coloured black and brown and covered in ash. One person on my Instagram account likened it to the Pompeii volcano eruption and I would have to agree. It just hung there like a statue. The Kangaroo didn't smell so much but you could smell other animals.
The smell of death, the heat and how dry it was certainly didn't feel like the Australian bush.
It felt lifeless and it is not over for the animals that survived. There is no food left for them to eat and all weather forecasts have limited rain in the near future. It is a dire situation for Australia's native wildlife. It is estimated 500 million animals have perished so far.
2015 Sampson Flat fire. A lost koala trying to find food in a burnt out pine plantation. (Brad Fleet)
It's fantastic to see my image being used prolifically across socials to help raise money for bushfire relief.
Equally as important it has been posted with political messaging highlighting climate change.
It has been very interesting watching the response to this image. Most of my work has been editorially based that remains very local and holds a short lifespan.
This image feels like it has a strong meaning and lasting legacy.
2012 burning off in Darwin (Brad Fleet)
Please credit @bradfleet The Advertiser
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