NSW wildlife carers, inundated with injured animals, and coping with their ownlosses from the fire, are welcoming expert teams from animal emergencyresponse organisations in Australia and around the world.
Coordinating this response is the NSW Wildlife Council (NWC), the peak bodyfor over 25 licensed and entirely voluntary wildlife rescue groups. NWCmembers represent more than half of all wildlife carers licensed across NSW.
“All our terrestrial-based member groups have been impacted by both fire anddrought. Many are struggling to cope with the devastating amount of hungry,injured, orphaned, burnt and starving wildlife in the wake of the record-breaking drought and recent catastrophic fires throughout south-easternAustralia,” said NWC spokesperson, Sonja Elwood. “We are enormously gratefulfor support from animal emergency disaster response organisationsInternationalFund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), New Zealand-based ‘Helping YouHelp Animals’ (HUHANZ) and ‘Vets BeyondBorders’ (VBB).
“These expert teams are providing vital help at this time of crisis – not onlyare they saving lives, they are providing much needed support and respite toour carers who are working around the clock in traumatic and exhaustingcircumstances,” Ms Elwood said.
Last week, NWC member group, Sydney Wildlife Rescue, deployed its mobile careunit to the south coast to support sister group, Wildlife Rescue South Coast(WRSC). They were tag-teamed by HUHANZ who quickly established two temporaryveterinary centres, one to service the coast with WRSC, and the second toassist in the tablelands with another NWC member group Native Animal RescueGroup (NARG). HUHANZ brought veterinarians, vet nurses, builders, their owntrailers and even a cook to ensure they are not a burden on local volunteerwildlife carers. VBB also immediately stepped in to provide additionalveterinary support.
A third team will arrive from Animal Disaster Emergency Response Germany andFrance on Friday and discussions are also underway with a UK-basedorganisation, whose representative arrives Sunday. Using their extensivenetwork and local knowledge, NWC will coordinate the deployment of theseorganisations to where they are most needed, and the resources required.
“Being prepared for future bushfire crises and ongoing drought is critical,and the NWC look forward to contributing our experience and expertise infuture State emergency response planning,” Ms Elwood said.
HOW CAN PEOPLE HELP DROUGHT AND BUSH FIRE AFFLICTED WILDLIFE:
Providing funds through the NWC GoFundMe Drought and Fire Recovery Fund is thebest way to help. The Fund enables NWC to provide vital financial assistanceto all afflicted volunteer rescue and care groups in their network. The groupsare self-funded and rely on donations from the public to continue thiscritical work:
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