A group of animal care volunteers from several North American zoos, including Susan Kleven, the director of the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville, have landed in Australia along with Fort Worth Zoo-donated supplies to support their efforts. The mission is currently underway at a temporary field hospital in the burn zone under the lead of Jodie Blackney, founder of Bushfire Wildlife Rescue and Support. Each member of the team has experience hand-rearing marsupials and they expect to put that experience into practice during the mission. Take a look at the first photo – the team is gathered around a wombat they have rescued and brought into safety. The supplies donated by the Fort Worth Zoo include welders gloves for handling animals, including spiny echidnas; a satellite phone that will allow communication from the bush; multi-tools; and game cameras to monitor wildlife in the burn zone. (The other photos show the team installing those cameras to track threatened wildlife in the area.)
The Fort Worth Zoo is pleased to be a part of the worldwide rescue efforts taking place in Australia. No effort is too small in this dire situation and we all have the common goal of rescuing and saving animal lives. We look forward to providing additional updates from the field.