RSPCA pleas for volunteers to help koalas injured in Australia’s bushfires


Volunteers are desperately need to help deliver food and vital supplies for koalas injured in Australia’s bushfires.  

RSPCA SA chief executive Paul Stevenson made an urgent plea for 120 volunteers to assist koalas and other wildlife impacted by the Kangaroo Island bushfires on Friday. 

The country’s peak animal welfare organisation has growing fears that animals that survived the fires will now slowly starve to death. 

RSPCA SA chief executive Paul Stevenson made an urgent plea for 120 volunteers to assist koalas and other wildlife impacted by the Kangaroo Island bushfires on Friday. Pictured: A koala is treated for burns on Kangaroo Island

RSPCA SA chief executive Paul Stevenson made an urgent plea for 120 volunteers to assist koalas and other wildlife impacted by the Kangaroo Island bushfires on Friday. Pictured: A koala is treated for burns on Kangaroo Island

The country's peak animal welfare organisation has growing fears that animals that survived the fires will now slowly starve to death if they aren't helped by humans. Pictured: Volunteer Cassie Riggs and Lieutenant Susie Rattigana assist koalas on Kangaroo Island

The country’s peak animal welfare organisation has growing fears that animals that survived the fires will now slowly starve to death if they aren’t helped by humans. Pictured: Volunteer Cassie Riggs and Lieutenant Susie Rattigana assist koalas on Kangaroo Island

Koalas solely rely on the leaves of Eucalyptus trees, also known as gum trees, for food. 

However, given many trees have burnt down, there isn’t anything for them to eat in bushfire-stricken areas such as Kanaroo Island. 

Meanwhile, koalas injured in the fires may struggle to climb gum trees and access leaves like they normally would. 

Mr Stevenson said: ‘We don’t know how many animals are fending for themselves in totally barren landscapes, but wildlife rescuers are starting to find animals in extremely poor condition due to lack of food and water.

‘With so many areas still not accessed our fear is these animals being found are the tip of the iceberg.

‘And it’s not just koalas. Several endangered species have also suffered habitat loss.’

Other than koalas, Kangaroo Island is also home to kangaroos (hence the name), echidnas, wallabies, possums and bandicoots. 

Koalas solely rely on the leaves of Eucalyptus trees, also known as gum trees, for food but many have been burnt, meaning there is no food to eat. Pictured: A young koala next to a burn t tree on Kangaroo Island

 Koalas solely rely on the leaves of Eucalyptus trees, also known as gum trees, for food but many have been burnt, meaning there is no food to eat. Pictured: A young koala next to a burn t tree on Kangaroo Island

Koalas injured in the fires may struggle to climb gum trees and access leaves like they normally would. Pictured: A bandaged koala on Kangaroo Island

Koalas injured in the fires may struggle to climb gum trees and access leaves like they normally would. Pictured: A bandaged koala on Kangaroo Island

Other than koalas, Kangaroo Island is also home to kangaroos (hence the name), echidnas, wallabies (pictured), possums and bandicoots

Other than koalas, Kangaroo Island is also home to kangaroos (hence the name), echidnas, wallabies (pictured), possums and bandicoots

The RSPCA said volunteers would work in teams to distribute food and water to affected animals and to also collect food for animals in care.

The operation is expected to continue for at least the next three months, allowing time for sufficient vegetation regrowth.

The RSPCA will also establish one or two food depots on the island to allow locals to collect food for native animals.

RSPCA South Australia Chief Inspector Andrea Lewis recently spent four days caring for wildlife on Kangaroo Island and shared her shocking experience on their blog.   

‘In all my years of involvement with animals I have never seen a situation like this,’ Ms Lewis wrote.   

‘There are areas that look fine, normal even, but soon, you drive through burnt scrub and farmland and are confronted with the sight of dead, burnt animals everywhere you look. In some areas, the smell of death is simply overwhelming.’  

The RSPCA said volunteers would work in teams to distribute food and water to affected animals and to also collect food for animals in care. Pictured: Volunteer Georgie Sullivan cradles an orphaned koala

The RSPCA said volunteers would work in teams to distribute food and water to affected animals and to also collect food for animals in care. Pictured: Volunteer Georgie Sullivan cradles an orphaned koala

Andrea Lewis recently visited Kangaroo Island and said she was 'confronted with the sight of dead, burnt animals everywhere' and the 'the smell of death was simply overwhelming'. Pictured: The burnt carcass of a koala that perished on Kangaroo Island

Andrea Lewis recently visited Kangaroo Island and said she was ‘confronted with the sight of dead, burnt animals everywhere’ and the ‘the smell of death was simply overwhelming’. Pictured: The burnt carcass of a koala that perished on Kangaroo Island

Volunteers are needed on Kangaroo Island for the next three months to help the affected wildlife. Pictured: An injured koala makes its way through the ash on Kangaroo Island

Volunteers are needed on Kangaroo Island for the next three months to help the affected wildlife. Pictured: An injured koala makes its way through the ash on Kangaroo Island 

Despite the bleak and depressing experience, Ms Lewis said it was the hope of helping surviving animals that kept her going.   

‘I can’t explain how amazing it is when you find an animal who’s okay – who doesn’t have burns and who looks well, and you know you can help them,’ she wrote. 

‘Today I saw yellow tail black cockatoos, goannas, and even echidnas who were uninjured and coping well. Amid all the destruction, all the ash, all the smoke, when you do see the hearty survivors, I think it makes it all worth it.

‘If there’s any moral of the story to my late night ramblings, it’s to donate now. We need your support to help these guys recover.’ 

Despite the bleak and depressing experience, Ms Lewis said it was the hope of helping surviving animals that kept her going. Pictured: An orphaned joey nibbles on a child's finger at the Wildlife Emergency Response Centre on Kangaroo Island

Despite the bleak and depressing experience, Ms Lewis said it was the hope of helping surviving animals that kept her going. Pictured: An orphaned joey nibbles on a child’s finger at the Wildlife Emergency Response Centre on Kangaroo Island

 



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: