Bushfire survivors fill shelter

Bushfire survivors fill shelter

16 May 2009

published by www.bordermail.com.au

Australia —

The Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter at Yackandandah has this month been inundated with new residents left homeless by the Black Saturday bushfires.

Director Glenda Elliott said animals were still struggling to survive, more than three months after the fires ripped through the Mudgegonga and Stanley areas.

“The fires are gone, but the trouble for wildlife has not,” Mrs Elliott said.

A lack of regrowth was forcing wildlife onto the roads in search of food and into the path of oncoming vehicles, she said.

Others, who have been blinded by the inferno, were wandering into built-up areas and have had to be put down.

In each situation, the animals are leaving behind babies that require almost 24-hour care.

Mrs Elliott, who has been caring for wildlife for more than 30 years, is bottle-feeding 14 kangaroo joeys and wombats.

Among them is Peanut, a four-month-old wombat whose mum survived the fires but was hit by a car and killed.

Mrs Elliott said he was named Peanut because of how he looked when he first came into her care six weeks ago.

“He wasn’t much bigger than his head is now,” she said.

Peanut still has no fur and fits in the cup of one hand.

Another bushfire survivor was Lucky, who was found by bushwalkers under a pile of ash shortly after Black Saturday.

The tiny grey kangaroo has since grown fur and was yesterday learning to hop around the lounge room, which has become more like a nursery.

Hanging from every hook and tucked away in every corner is a baby animal of some description.

Mrs Elliott is hoping that Lucky and Peanut will eventually be returned to the wild, along with the other baby animals at the shelter.

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