An Australian man living in Petitcodiac, N.B., is planning an act of sheer kindness to help animals caught up in the devastating wildfires in his homeland.
“I decided to raise some money by shaving off my beard,” said Lucas Menzie, whose 13-inch-long beard took seven years to grow.
He said his beard is a big part of his identity.
“It keeps the chin warm in these silly Canadian winters,” said Menzie.
But he is more than willing to shave it off to help Australian wildlife impacted by the fires.
Menzie and his wife, Megan Carson Menzie, have started up a GoFundMe campaign.
The money raised will be donated to the Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation.
“They look after all the injured wildlife and they are all volunteers. So it is a good cause,” said Menzie.
The conservation group WWF Australia estimates that 1.25 billion wild animals died during the fires in addition to livestock losses, which the government expects will exceed 100,000 animals.
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“It is devastating; it is way too much” said Megan.
“Seeing the poor little koalas — it is really hard to see.”
Menzie said it has been hard to see his homeland suffer through the devastating wildfires. Being so far away, he said, leaves him feeling “pretty useless, because you are stuck on the other wide of the world.”
Menzie said his two-year-old daughter, Drewyn, who is named after the Australian town Drouin, had never seen their dad without facial hair.
“I know Drewyn is going to scream,” Menzie said.
So to ease the shock, he said she’ll help her dad do the deed when the clippers will come out on Jan. 26, which is also Australia Day.
“I am really looking forward to seeing his face,” said Megan. “It has been a while.”