Red Centre fires blamed for wildlife pneumonia

Red Centre fires blamed for wildlife pneumonia 

26 September 2011

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Australia — Wildlife carers around Central Australia say smoke from bushfires is causing an outbreak of pneumonia among native animals.

Cynthia Lynch says the thick smoke is taking its toll, particularly with young joeys who deteriorate quickly once their lungs become infected.

She says it is not difficult to tell when the joeys have pneumonia because of their laboured breathing, coughing and failure to drink.

“Having talked to the vets and spoken to some in New South Wales and Victoria, where they have had fires, they say that this is a common occurrence among a lot of native animals … smoke-inhalation pneumonia,” she said.

Meanwhile, Bushfires NT says a fire burning on Bond Springs cattle station, about 40 kilometres north of Alice Springs, was contained last night.

The fire had been burning on both sides of the Stuart Highway but is now under control.

Bushfires NT is asking motorists to be careful driving in areas where smoke is blowing across the road.

High winds are expected today across Central Australia and Bushfires NT says more fire outbreaks are expected.

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