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November 12, 2019

How we can all save wildlife from disaster

How we can all save wildlife from disaster
Dr. Chris Brown
by CHRIS BROWN

With bushfires already decimating our koala population over the weekend, tomorrow looms as a potentially catastrophic day for our wildlife. But here’s what you can do to help avoid an animal tragedy...

Extreme temperatures and high winds mean they’re currently standing, hopping or just hanging in the path of a potential disaster.

Here’s your checklist:

  1. In extreme heat, wildlife (like koalas) will be thirsty. A Sydney University study found that water stations (like water fountains and troughs) are a lifesaver as leaves alone won’t keep koalas hydrated. These water stops are even more crucial in areas recovering from fire and benefit huge numbers of animals.
  2. Donate to wildlife rescue charities. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital GoFundMe page link is a good one.
  3. Donate equipment and supplies (see previous post)
  4. Keep an eye out for firebugs.

If you’re ALREADY in a fire affected area and encounter injured wildlife:

  1. Ensure it’s safe to be there
  2. Take photos of the animal, note your location and call a wildlife rescuer.
  3. Animals in shock can die from stress so keep handling to a minimum.
  4. If you know what you’re doing, you may carefully approach and move the animal into a cardboard box or other container using gloves, a towel or a t-shirt.
  5. On a hot day like today keep this box in a cool, shaded, well-ventilated spot while you transfer the animal to a vet clinic or wildlife rescue centre.
  6. If they appear injured or burnt, do not offer food or water. In a crisis situation they will need specialised diets and fluids.

Please keep safe out there. The safest place to be is at home (unless otherwise advised) and leave the rescuing to the experts and until after the fire conditions have passed.

Let’s all get through this together.

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