Native animals’ fire plight unnoticed

Volunteer Brooke Segreto with an injured bush animal. Picture: Martin Kennealey        d435303
Volunteer Brooke Segreto with an injured bush animal. Picture: Martin Kennealey        d435303

Native Arc animal care co-ordinator Dean Huxley said that while most birds and reptiles were able to flee the flames, kangaroos and possums were often not as lucky.

Recent bushfires in Beeliar had proved this.

�Native Arc spent many hours liaising with veterinarians who are experts in burn management, determining the viability of the large mammals that were affected,� Mr Huxley said.

�Many of the animals were euthanased due to the severity of their burns, which is an unfortunate but necessary process.

�Native Arc was able to admit several mammals, which are currently being treated and should make a full recovery.�

Mr Huxley said that by the time most sites were considered safe enough for wildlife rescue to be undertaken, most animals had died from their injuries, including burns, temporary or permanent respiratory problems, and blindness due to smoke inhalation.

�It�s quite distressing that the most important thing usually covered in the media is property damage,� he said.

�Animal displacement is a huge problem after fires, especially in urban areas as venomous snakes will move into houses for shelter and macropods can cause serious safety issues on roads as they try and escape the fires.�