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The Gina Canine: Orphans of the Fires project responded to IFAW’s call to “Care for the Carers” of Australia in February 2020. As raging bushfires and drought conditions were still tearing through Australia’s precious ecosystem, more animals than at any time in history were in need of rescue, medical care, food and rehabilitation from our compassionate partners across the country.
A significant gift from “Gina Canine” (named for the donor’s beloved rescue dog) was used immediately to help a selection of carers dedicated to saving flying foxes, wombats, reptiles and birds — animals affected by the fires, drought and other human impact.
The donor wishes to remain anonymous in solidarity with the billions of suffering animals who remain anonymous.
Nearly all of Australia’s wildlife carers were at capacity. Many of them are run by volunteers who receive no formal funding from the government. Helping the native wildlife burned, traumatized and displaced by this disaster was taking every hour and ounce of energy from the carers. As the animal numbers grew, the carers’ needs were mounting.
IFAW staff identified the most urgent unmet needs and, with Gina Canine’s generous backing sent response grants out to the carers. Funds were used to build new enclosures for adult fruit bats (flying foxes) recovering from dehydration and malnourishment at one rescue center. Another grant recipient needed an aviary for over 70 orphaned fruit bats she was caring for, that now have a safe place to learn to fly.
On the ground, rescued wombats weren’t even safe in their burrows. This grant gave them a new home so the orphans and injured animals could feel safe again. Elsewhere, a mob of wallaby joeys enjoyed a new enclosure to hop around in.
Other carers received funding for veterinary care and aviaries to help Australia’s beautiful bird species get ready to once again take flight.
Months later, in April 2020 the fires are now out, but the work of these carers’ continues. Australia’s unique and vulnerable wildlife still need food and water, veterinary care, time to regain their strength, and safe spaces to return to their home in the wild.
The work continues. We’re so grateful to Gina Canine: Orphans of the Fires. Now totaling $100,000, this gift from a generous anonymous donor in Seattle not only recognizes and supports the efforts of carers across Australia for their expertise and dedication, but also helps IFAW continue our commitment to the rescue and rehabilitation of the country’s iconic wildlife.
Thank you to Gina Canine: Orphans of the Fires and here’s to the work you’ve made possible.
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