How to help wildlife during this bush fires crisis
WITH WIRES call centres overflowing with public concern about wildlife caught in the bush fires, here are some ways to help surviving injured animals found outside the fire grounds now.
Sadly, in severe fires, very little wildlife survive and it is not until later that animals that may have been displaced from their homes move into more populated areas and are reported to WIRES.
A WIRES Northern Rivers spokes woman said at present, there was nothing they could do to rescue animals from the active fire zones as it was unsafe to go into these areas and access is open to fire fighting personnel only.
"If and when there is opportunity to respond, they will be doing all they can to assist injured animals," the spokes woman said.
"For weeks now our volunteers have been rescuing the orphaned joeys and other animals who have survived and are being found outside the fire grounds.
"Our work will continue for the weeks and months to come as the loss of shelter and food sources forces wildlife into more accessible urban areas."
But if you were looking for things you can do to help now, a WIRES spokes woman suggested:
- Read our bushfire factsheet http://bit.ly/Bushfire-Wildlife-Help
- Leave bowls of water out for animals and birds, shallow bowls with a few sticks or stones on one side to act as a ramp to allow smaller animals to escape if they fall in. Read more http://bit.ly/Heat-Stress-Wildlife
- If you have a backyard pool please check it at least twice a day to ensure wildlife seeking water have not fallen in. A length of heavy duty rope or even a bodyboard, secured at one end to something heavy outside the pool, is ideal as it does not absorb water and provides a platform for an exhausted animal to rest on. Read more at http://bit.ly/Wildlife-Pools
- Put WIRES rescue number 1300 094 737 in your phone or save this link to our online report a rescue form https://www.wires.org.au/rescue/report-a-rescue in case you need to call or report an injured or orphaned native animal.
- Keep a cardboard box and towel in the boot of your car in case you find an injured animal. If you rescue an animal that has been burnt, do not attempt to feed it, please wrap it loosely, in 100% cotton fabric, place it in a ventilated box with a lid and keep it in a dark, quiet place for transport to the nearest vet or whilst waiting for a rescuer.
- Consider donating to WIRES. You can do so online by going to https://www.wires.org.au/ Click on the "donate" button. In the Notes field you can indicate if you would like your donation to support fire affected areas or if you would like it to go to the local Northern Rivers branch.
- Donations to the emergency fund http://bit.ly/Emergency-Fund-Wildlife as this is the best way to help us assist animals as needed across the state. We do not need donations of goods at this stage.
- You can also donate by cheque to PO Box 1356, Lismore, NSW 2480 - Please provide contact details and a receipt will be posted to you. All local donations support the rehabilitation of Northern Rivers wildlife.
All injured animals need vet assessment urgently and where possible please transport the animal immediately to a nearby vet and contact WIRES so that we can follow up with the vet for ongoing care of the animal after emergency treatment is administered.
Anyone in or around the fires do find injured animals in the Northern Rivers area, please contact WIRES on 66281898.
Please do not call the hotline to offer assistance at the moment as they need to keep it open for rescue calls.