After surviving the bushfire that ravaged parts of New South Wales on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, a farmer had the grim task of putting down one-tenth of his cattle. Steve Shipton from Coolagolite, had tried to ensure the safety of his family and cattle, but uncontrollable flames claimed its victims. Shipton found a number of his cattle dead, while many were left terribly burnt. Under the guidance of a veterinarian, Shipton had to euthanise many of the scorched and suffering animals.
Shipton used to raise his cattle for dairy before he started rearing the cattle for meat. The farmer was worried about the safety of his 250 strong herd when the bushfire started spreading to Coolagolite, which is close to the devastated town of Cobargo and Bermagui.
Shipton tried to secure his cattle by keeping them on a dirt clearing with a feeding rack. He hoped that the flames would not be able to reach the cattle since they were in a clearing. However, it became evident that the flames caused the animals to panic, resulting in them moving away from the clearing to get burnt.
The Daily Mail shared the heart-wrenching pictures of Shipton's burnt animals. With the help of a vet, Shipton examined his surviving herd on Wednesday. While some of the cattle had already perished, many were left with horrific burns. The vet assured Shipton that the animals would not be able to recover from their injuries.
The Daily Telegraph Australia shared Shipton's faith in the vet's diagnosis. He stated that since he had never been in such a situation, he trusted the vet to make the right call.
Photographs documented Shipton examining the burns on one of his cows, as well as Shipton shooting a cow in the head with a rifle. The bloated bodies of burnt cows lay scattered on the devastated farmer's property. The photographer who took the sobering pictures also started a GoFundMe to gather funds for the community.
Shipton was seen thanking the vet for his service, and was being consoled by other farmers for his loss.
The human death toll in Australia has become 18, while it is estimated that 480 million animals have perished as well.