DUBAI: Part-Saudi model Shanina Shaik has taken to Instagram to post a heartfelt tribute about Australia, where she grew up, in response to the destructive bushfires wreaking havoc across the country.
The Victoria’s Secret model uploaded a photograph of herself petting a baby kangaroo, alongside an emotional text that revealed she’s “heartbroken.”
“I wake up everyday to see my home country burning in a destructive blaze. I don’t have the heart to post the Australian animals burnt to their death or the families seeing their homes and lives lost in the flames,” she wrote.
“The Australian fires have burned 6 million hectares of land, 23 people have died and many more are missing, and half a billion animals are estimated to have died,” she added, before urging her followers to donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief.
I’m heartbroken I wake up everyday to see my home country burning in a destructive blaze. I don’t have the heart to post the Australian animals burnt to their death or the families seeing their homes and lives lost in the flames. The Australian fires have burned 6 million hectares of land, 23 people have died and many more missing , half a billion animals are estimated to have died. If you could please donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief, you’ll be helping the families affected by the Bushfires. (Link in bio) Myself and so many more support and appreciate the work of the firefighters.
“You’ll be helping the families affected by the bushfires,” she wrote, adding a link to the donation page on her bio. “Myself and so many more support and appreciate the work of the firefighters.”
According to Reuters, a number of actors, popstars and Britain's royal family have also stepped in to offer support for victims of Australia's unprecedented bushfires, helping to raise millions for firefighting services and wildlife shelters.
On Sunday, Australian actor Nicole Kidman pledged a $500,000 donation on behalf of her family to New South Wales state Rural Fire Service, without specifying a currency.
"Our family’s support, thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the fires all over Australia," she wrote, next to a link to a national firefighting donation page.
On Saturday, Britain's Queen Elizabeth joined grandsons William and Harry in expressing shock at the bushfires, and sent their thanks to the firefighters who risked their lives to save others.
Australian comedian Celeste Barber also raised money to support firefighters and animal rescue.
Meanwhile, pop singer P!nk pledged a $500,000 donation to local fire services.
Got to visit this cutie yesterday, as well as so many animals injured & rehabilitated at @currumbinwildlifehospital Thankyou guys for letting me hangout!!! did you know over 30% of the Koalas natural habitat in NSW has been destroyed by the bushfires Australia is currently battling? The saddest part is, that’s not even the biggest threat to their survival. Please donate if you can guys, anything helps. Link in my stories.
Iggy Azalea, a rapper who hails from a blaze-hit region north of Sydney, posted a photo on Instagram of her cuddling a koala and called for donations to a local wildlife shelter. By Sunday morning it had raised almost $100,000.
Lebanese-Australian model and humanitarian Jessica Kahawaty also shared a series of photographs on Instagram, urging her followers to help those affected by the bushfires by donating to Red Cross.
There are only 80,000 koalas left in the wild, 8000 of which have recently been killed in the fires. They’re ‘functionally extinct’ ie don’t have effect on their surrounding environment & their numbers are too low to support a new generation. My heart is shattered for our beautiful species #Koala #Australia #BushfiresAustralia
“It breaks my heart that we have allowed our Earth to suffer this much. The fires are approximately 45 mins by car from us but we can see grey skies looming with thoughts of the 500 million animals that have died,” she wrote on Instagram. “Please help by donating to those families affected. Many are dead and missing. Others have lost everything they’ve ever worked for.”
These donations add to those already made by actor Russell Crowe and tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes.