Researchers supported by San Diego Zoo Global are preparing a trip into Australia's mountainous region to rescue koalas under threat by wildfires raging across the continent, according to KTLA sister station KSWB in San Diego.
The fires covered about 18 million acres as of Wednesday as they continued to burn throughout Australia.
According to a recent estimate by ecologists at the University of Sydney, about a half-billion animals have been impacted by the bushfires burning in New South Wales, with millions of animals believed dead throughout the country.
Researchers with San Diego Zoo Global have been tracking koalas using radio-tagging technology in the Blue Mountains, a region west of Sydney, since 2015. The area is known for providing a home to the world's most genetically diverse koala population and is a valuable asset for researchers dedicated to preserving the species.