The community caring for wildlife

Liz Bell

THE best of community spirit was on show on Saturday when five fire trailers sponsored by donors from around the world arrived in Gippsland from New South Wales.

The result of an inspiring partnership between Australian animal rescue charities and global donors horrified by the devastation of the 2019-2020 bushfires, the trailers will be distributed to Gippsland wildlife shelters to help them protect their properties in the event of fire.

The trailers carry one tonne of water and a pump, and were built at a cost of $30,000 – thanks to wildlife rescue group WIRES and the Animal Rescue Cooperative, donations, and sponsorship by the Jerusalem Zoo and the Oklahoma Aquarium and Conservation Zoo.

Sale nurse and ARC representative Joey Blake said community caring and teamwork had made the project possible, and shown what people working together could achieve.

“These will be fantastic fire support for animal shelters, and with the hot weather on its way it’s important we take fire support into the fields where it can help,” she said.

“We saw what happened last summer, and we know these will make a difference in the front line when properties need help.”

Three of the trailers will be donated to shelters at Yarram, Eagle Point and Marlo, while two will be made available for shelters on a sign-out basis to use if their properties are under fire threat.

Based in Sale, the Gippsland hub of ARC runs a range of support projects for wildlife and companion animal rescue, thanks to the ongoing assistance of the wildlife rescue community, Petbarn, and donations.

This is the second deployment of water trailers, with several already sent to wildlife shelters in New South Wales.

The project is ongoing, and all trailers are ‘named’ in honour of their sponsors.

To sponsor a firefighting trailer, visit arcsupport.org.au/ffs.