Bushfires leave CQ wildlife rescue on the brink of closure
NURTURING injured or abandoned animals back to health has long been a passion for Rockhampton Wildlife Rescue’s Nicole Sloan.
But while she is only too happy to keep tending to the region’s animals in need, it is she who now requires an extra helping hand.
The inspiring service is sadly on the brink of closure as it struggles with financial stability – which Ms Sloan said escalated following last year’s devastating bushfires.
“As far as collecting animals that are injured, we’ve been fairly flat out. But we’re suffering as far as funds and housing goes,” she said.
Inundated with injured animals, the rescue service quickly faced mounting food, shelter and healthcare costs.
“Depending on how many animals you’re caring for and what you’ve got, it can be crazy because your kangaroo milk has to be shipped in from Brisbane or Mackay.”
“You’re looking at costs of at least $300,” she explained.
However, generous assistance from Torenbeek Veterinary Clinic, Ms Sloan said, had fortunately helped alleviate some of the rising costs.
“They are the most incredible vets in this whole town. They have done anything and everything in their power to help,” she said.
“In saying that, we still have a $400 plus bill to pay for the last lot of animals that went in and I’m struggling, I’m really pushing up hill.”
Despite many local businesses being kept afloat by pandemic related funding, the service only qualified for one – which was spent only weeks later.
“Unfortunately, that was all we could get. As far as the animals, cages and food and massive vet bills goes, it didn’t go very far,” she admitted.
Ms Sloan revealed she was currently caring for seven animals – some kangaroos and a baby lorikeet – at her Rockhampton home.
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“I wait for calls all day, and also end up racing out a number of times per day to members of the public who’ve called about animals that they have found.”
She added that donations would also help the struggling service.
“If you can afford it financially, please by all means, we would appreciate any help that is available,” she said.
“But if you’re not in a position to help that way, we’re also always looking for flannelette sheets and pillowcases that we can make pouches out of and cages that people no longer want.”
Those eager to donate either financially or through goods should contact Ms Sloan on 0478 083 132 or through Rockhampton Wildlife Rescue.