Touching Cartoon of Steve Irwin Welcoming Australian Animals Killed in Bushfires to Heaven Goes Viral | 22 Words

While Australia is currently battling the most devastating bushfires seen in decades, the Irwins have been working tirelessly, and heroically, to try and save as much of the native wildlife and bushland as they can.

A few days ago, the late Steve Irwin's wife, Terri, and their sixteen-year-old son, Robert, appeared on live TV to discuss the survival chances of their koalas, and Robert simply couldn't hold back his emotion regarding the situation and began to tear up. And in honor of the family, an artist drew a picture showing Steve Irwin welcoming kangaroos, koalas, and other animals into heaven and it has gone viral.

Keep scrolling to catch a glimpse of the touching piece of work.

Australia is being ravaged by one of the worst bush fire crises the world has seen in decades.

Due to soaring temperatures and one of the worst droughts in years, the relentless fires have been burning since September. We're currently in January. Just let that sink in.

New South Wales is suffering immensely at the moment.

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There have been fires reported in every state, but New South Wales is truly taking a beating by bush fires and is undoubtedly the hardest hit. It's reported that more than 2,200 houses have been destroyed.

NSW declared a state of emergency last month.

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What does this mean? Well, it grants "extraordinary powers" to the NSWRFS commissioner, including the authority to allocate government resources and direct government agencies in taking action, according to CNN.

The raging fires have had a devastating impact...

It is reported that 130 bush fires continue to burn in populated coastal and inland regions to the city's north.

Twenty-eight people have been confirmed to have died in the fires since they started...

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Including several volunteer firefighters.

And it's not just the flames themselves that are having deadly consequences...

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Last month, the smoke was so bad in Sydney that air quality measured eleven times the "hazardous" level, CNN reports.

The Australian fire services have been stretched to their limits.

Firefighters all over the country have been tirelessly battling the formidable blazes and are struggling to contain them. Keep scrolling to see the heartbreaking pictures of the aftermath.

Australia has even been forced to make a global call for help...

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And it was Canada that was the first to respond and take action. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, based in Winnipeg, answered the call for help after realizing the bush fire situation is expected to continue for many more weeks and gave up their Christmas to help fight the raging fires.

Other countries offered their assistance...

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Including the U.S. and New Zealand, who have sent in more firefighters to try and help tackles the blazes.

But even with assistance from overseas...

There seems to be no end to the blazes. In total, more than 10.7 million hectares (26 million acres) have been burned, CNN reports. And those who escaped the flames have lost their homes, with all their possessions perishing to the flames.

People have been desperately fleeing to beaches for cover.

And are left stranded awaiting evacuation. It's a truly heartbreaking sight.

How long could the fires actually be burning for?

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Sadly, Australia has only just entered summer, meaning temperatures could remain high for some weeks. In fact, temperatures usually reach their highest during January and February, so there may be no end in sight for months.

The fires have also had a devasting impact on wildlife.

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Several of Australia's native species have been affected including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, possums, wombats, and echidnas. Keep scrolling to see the latest snaps showing the true devastation the fires have had on the native wildlife.

And the latest statistics are some of the most alarming yet.

The country is totally unprepared for the devastation caused to its wildlife. Science for Wildlife executive director Dr Kellie Leigh told the New South Wales upper house inquiry: "We're getting a lot of lessons out of this and it's just showing how unprepared we are. There's no procedures or protocols in place - even wildlife carers don't have protocols for when they can go in after fire."

Koalas have been amongst the hardest hit.

It's believed that almost two-thirds of koalas in New South Wales alone have perished in the flames.

But what's even more concerning...

Tracy Burgess, a volunteer at Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Services (WIRES), explained how concerning it was that rescuers were not receiving as many animal patients as they expected. "We're not getting that many animals coming into care. So, our concern is that they don't come into care because they're not there anymore, basically," she told Reuters.

And that's not all...

It's feared that animals that managed to survive the flames will need huge amounts of humanitarian assistance to get populations anywhere near back to what they used to be.

Residents have even been trying to rescue helpless animals themselves.

And of course, we all remember Lewis the koala who was heroically rescued by a woman using the clothes off her back. Literally.

A staggering number of animals have perished in the fires.

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And its only set to get worse. But the number that surfaced this week is utterly heartbreaking.

Now over a billion animals have died.

And the numbers keep on rising as long as the flames are burning.

It's a heartbreaking statistic.

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But, despite the devastating reality of what is happening to the country, not all hope is gone.

Australian communities have rallied together in a bid to save the country's struggling wildlife.

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But there is one family, in particular, who have gone to exceptional measures to help the animals, birds, and reptiles of Australia.

The Irwins have stepped in.

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The late wife and children of the Australian wildlife enthusiast, and overall legend, Steve Irwin.

Terri, Bindi, and Robert are just as passionate about the planet as Steve was.

And the family have dedicated their lives to continuing Steve's legacy after his untimely death in 2006.

The 3 of them work together to provide vital conservation for animals and the environment...

And have kept Steve's pride and joy, Australia Zoo, up and running successfully.

The zoo currently remains safe from the blaze.

Bindi wrote, "With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much. I wanted to let you know that we are SAFE. There are no fires near us @AustraliaZoo or our conservation properties."

And the number of animals treated at the Irwin's animal hospital is simply staggering.

"Our Wildlife Hospital is busier than ever though, having officially treated over 90,000 patients." 90,000 animals, birds, and reptiles. What an incredible accomplishment.

In homage to the family's remarkable work, an artist decided to dedicate a piece to the late Steve Irwin.

Sharnia-Mae Sturm is a twenty-two-year-old Australian artist who posted a cartoon piece to Instagram and it instantly went viral for it's touching message.

Have a look for yourselves:

Isn't it just so heartwarming?

However, the bushfire crisis continues...

It is still an undeniably heartbreaking situation, but by working together to help the Aussies combat this natural disaster, we hopefully put it to an end. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected.