The devastating wildfires sweeping across Australia could force some of the country’s best-loved animals to the brink of extinction, scientists warn.
Almost half a billion creatures are estimated to have died in blazes that have now engulfed 12 million acres – an area nearly two thirds the size of the island of Ireland.
And the crisis shows no sign of abating. The Penrith suburb of Sydney was the hottest place on Earth yesterday as temperatures soared to 48.9C (120F). Elsewhere in New South Wales, 80mph winds fanned the flames, with thousands of people fleeing their homes to take shelter on beaches.
More updates soon.