Amazon founder and the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, donated $690,000 to the Australian brushfire relief efforts, while other celebrities and influencers contributed millions to help the dire cause, according to DailyMail.com.
Continue Reading Below
Bezos announced over the weekend his company had pledged 1 million Australian dollars – or $690,000 – toward the bushfire relief and reparations.
But the tech mogul, who reportedly boasts a net worth of approximately $131 billion, drew social media ire because the amount he donated pales in comparison to others' wealthy contributors.
Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest, who has an estimated net worth of $8.9 billion, and his wife, Nicola Forrest, promised $48 million to the cause, Forbes reported.
And comedian Celeste Barber, who is also Australian, has so far raised more than $34 million as of 10 a.m. Monday.
Climate change activist and film bigwig Leonardo DiCaprio donated $3 million through his Earth Alliance, through which he has repeatedly urged his large social media following to contribute.
Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth also pledged $1 million through Earth Alliance, according to DailyMail.com. Famed musician Sir Elton John and billionaire influencer Kylie Jenner donated the same amount.
And American singer Pink previously announced she had committed $500,000 to the cause.
At least 27 people, including four firefighters, have died in the unprecedented tragedy, which has destroyed more than 2,000 homes and scorched an area larger than the U.S. state of Indiana since September. Four of the casualties have been firefighters.
The conservation group WWF-Australia estimates that 1.25 billion wild animals had died during the fires in addition to livestock losses, which the government expects will exceed 100,000 animals.
WWF fears the disasters could lead to local extinctions and threaten the survival of some species, such as the glossy black cockatoo and a knee-high kangaroo known as the long-footed potoroo.
WWF conservation scientist Stuart Blanch described the estimate as conservative, and it did not include bats, frogs and insects.
The majority of estimated losses were reptiles, followed by birds, then mammals such as koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and wombats.
WWF estimates there were between 100,000 and 200,000 koalas across Australia before the fire season. Estimated koala losses in the current emergency include 25,000 on Kangaroo Island off southern Australia and 8,000 in northwest New South Wales.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.