Did you know that there are over 20,000 volunteer wildlife carers in Australia? These compassionate people take in injured, sick, and orphaned animals, caring for and rehabilitating them until they are well enough to be released into the wild. They feed them, give them full vet care, keep them comfortable, and let them have space. While the thought of being surrounded by baby animals may seem fun, carers are exposed to an immense amount of suffering and are prone to emotional distress, grief, burnout, and compassion fatigue.
A recent survey found that carers physical workload is on average 32 hours a week, but can be over 100. Almost all rely on donations from other kind people, receiving no government funding. Over 65% of volunteers felt that government agencies neglected the animals [x PDF].
One of the most heartbreaking truths is that while carers are putting in an immense amount of love, care, and money into caring for these animals, millions of other kangaroos are legally being hunted down. In fact, the commercial and recreational hunting industry is one of the reasons why so many joeys end up in the care of wildlife rescuers. Joeys flee after their mothers have been shot and are left vulnerable and alone. Another common reason is due to vehicle collisions. On top of this, once they are released they may be at risk of being shot by hunters, depending on their location.
We want to raise awareness about some of the amazing groups, who are trying to make the world a more compassionate place for macropods.
You can help Australian wildlife by:
- Not supporting the kangaroo industry
- Taking extra care on the road (especially at dusk and dawn!)
- Keeping a rescue kit in your car (click here for what to include).
- Donating to one of the amazing rescue organisations.