by Ebony Bennett
[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 11 January 2020]
So far, the lives of more than a billion animals have been extinguished in the bushfires. A billion. Gone. Millions of hectares of native forests are burned, along with tens of thousands of dead livestock. Hundreds of family homes are now ash and dozens of families will forever mourn loved ones who died trying to protect either their homes or their communities.