Australian bush fires diary – Day 2

Day 2 – 14 January 2020

We arrived in Oz yesterday morning.

Our contact had been the NSW Wildlife Council, they are an umbrella for several licensed wildlife rehabbers dotted around NSW.

On arrival they confirmed they we were needed by a group called Wildlife Rescue South coast just a 2.45 hour drive south of Sydney in a town called Wandandian on the South Coast.

The devastation here is confronting. The last fire passed through 2 weeks ago. There is alot of damage to property but luckily many homes were saved.

We are camped at the wildlife caregivers property. It was very important to us to be self sufficient and not a burden on limited resources, so we have a 6 birth camper and tents for our team of 10, and have also brought a chef with us. This already proving to be a good choice.

This is a family run sanctuary. One amazing women, her husband and two sons. They have had locals and a passing mobile vet assisting them over the past week since they were allowed back on the property. But everyone including the vet has gone back to work now, so this family are now caring for dozens of effected Roos and Wallabies on their own.

Our first day involved setting up camp and unloading medical supplies. There are several Joey’s with burns here already that our vet team are busily treating. And our builders have identified building projects much to the relief of the property owner. We have enjoyed seeing her smile. As the load lessens for her.

We also note that in the few hours we have been here the phone in her apron pocket has not stopped ringing with reports of animals starting to surface with terrible injuries. We are going to be very busy.

Vets Beyond Boarders called us last night. They have so many Vets wanting and waiting to assist, but with no clear lines of communication down here, they have found it hard to deploy vet placements. We hope to work with them to resolve that issue.

Our plan is to set up veterinary camps and systems in key areas and then call in Vets Beyond Boarders to take over and man them. We will then move on to identify and build the next site. We feel very lucky to be able to help in this way as we believe is will provide the locals and animals a fast and well structured chain of resources.

Two services that are greatly needed here are shooters to dispatch the severely injured adult Roos that can’t be handled😭. And licensed dart gun users to knock down the adults with treatable injuries. VBB are sending us a Darter tomorrow hopefully, as we need help with a female Roo with a Joey in a lacerated pouch. But more Darters will definitely be key as we set up support in other effected areas.

We are outcome focused and happy to work with anyone in anyway that creates greatest relief and resourse for animals and their careers. We are being very careful to make sound decisions and promise to tread carefully with kindness and respect x

Hope all is going well back in NZ

Love you all! You are with us in spirit.

To help us respond to the Aussie fires wildlife crisis, please donate $3 by txting “huha” to 4463

Thank you HUHA community. Together we can save lives x