Into the black...
Today the IFAW team and an LTWC staff member walked into the “black,” the scorched area left by the Angora fire. Before the fire, you could not walk through these woods without hearing the rustling of squirrels or the songs of birds but today the forest greeted us with an eerie silence. We walked for miles but found no injured wildlife, in fact, we found almost no animals at all. It appears that those who survived the fire have relocated in search of food and shelter and will likely be considered nuisance animals if they encroach to close to people’s property.
Those who were caught in the blaze must have faired better than the porcupine we found. Porcupines are slow moving, and this one could not begin to outrun the inferno. His quills and skin were left completely intact but his body was strangely deflated; I hate to imagine how his life ended. Needless to say it was a sobering day.
It’s likely that we were searching the forest too late. Obviously human needs come first in a disaster but at this point there was very little chance that we would find injured wildlife.
What are your thoughts? How soon after a disaster should animal rescue groups begin helping wildlife?