In the last 48 hours, we have been on the ground in areas devastated by the wildfires. As the first international animal disaster response team to arrive (thanks to SAFE, Air New Zealand and Travel Prefab), we have already carried out a number of operations to help the millions of animals affected by this disaster.
Teaming up with local experts in animal management, wildlife rehabilitation as well as veterinarians, we went to Lawsons Long Alley located in the Blue Mountains after a call to help a number of Kangaroos that had been injured from the fires. Though the area was significantly razed by the fires, it was a relief to find many of the Kangaroos had survived with little to no injuries. The specialist team members already have experience in a range of disaster response, providing them the temperament to cope with dealing with some less fortunate Kangaroos that had already been killed by the fires in the days prior, or have unsalvageable injuries such as full thickness burns to the pads of their feet.
The team then established its Base of Operations at Bundanoon (pop. 2,729). The locals here in “Bundy” have been amazing, and been such great hosts despite being struck by the fires only on the Saturday prior. We teamed up to work with the only vet clinic in the town (Bundanoon Veterinary Hospital) as well as the Community Fire Readiness Expo to distribute Frontline pet carriers to residents to assist their readiness to evacuate.
Additionally, we have been engaging with local response authorities to ensure an integrated approach. The team now is preparing for a change in fire conditions that may warrant further responses in the coming days and the potential deployment to assist with wildlife affected toward the southern coast.
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