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How to donate to wildlife injured by the Australian bushfires

Animas and wildlife have died, been scorched, or left homeless from the Australian bushfires. Left: RSPCA NSW; Top right: Port Macquarie Koala Hospital; Bottom right: WIRES.

People in Australia and around the world have dug deep in response to the nation’s bushfire crisis, with Celeste Barber’s crowdfunding page on Facebook raising more than $40 million at the time of writing and artists, Hollywood celebrities and sports stars donating hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But for those wanting to donate specifically to wildlife who have been injured by the flames or have found their habitats burnt down with nowhere else to go, there are organisations, charities and dedicated hospitals committing their time and energy to tending to these creatures.

Here’s how you can support the organisations helping Australia’s wildlife:

WIRES

WIRES, which stands for the Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service, is a non-profit NSW-based organisation that trains a network of volunteer wildlife carers and rescuers that provide care for native animals in distress.

Since December, WIRES has received more than 20,000 calls and volunteers have attended over 3,300 rescues – but they are a charity that relies on community support.

“WIRES is rescuing and caring for as many sick, injured and orphaned native animals as possible,” stated a WIRES post published on its website.

“We are extremely grateful for your support at this difficult time.”

How to donate

At the moment, all their donation web pages appear to redirect to their Emergency Fund for Wildlife. At the time of writing, nearly $7.5 million has been raised for WIRES. Donations have been flooding in from all over the world, from USA, Greece, France, Poland, Norway to Taiwan and Azerbaijan.

But there are also other ways to give to WIRES, including becoming a virtual carer, leaving a gift to WIRES in your will, starting a fundraising campaign of your own, and more.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

Amid the bushfire crisis, the plight of these singed or dehydrated koalas have stolen centre stage. Based in NSW’s Port Macquarie, more than 30 koalas have been brought to the hospital and examined for burns which are then treated and bandaged.

How to donate

You can donate to the Koala Hospital through their GoFundMe page, which has already raised nearly $4 million at time of writing, smashing their initial $25,000 target.

Where your money will go

At first, the Koala Hospital just wanted to raise enough money to buy and distribute 12 automatic drinking stations, which will be placed in areas burnt by the bushfires to help koalas and wildlife survive.

“The number of drinking stations being built has now been increased to 100 and they are being shared with other wildlife organisations in fire affected regions across New South Wales.”

They’ve also been able to establish a Wild Koala Breeding Program, and some of the funds raised will go to building a Koala Ark, a facility designed to help surviving koalas be accommodated in a healthy habitat area.

WWF Australia

The Australian chapter of the World Wide Fund for Nature is currently running an appeal for donations to help save burnt wildlife and koalas, which according to them are heading for extinction in NSW and Queensland as early as 2050.

“Now, there are between a mere 20,000 to 48,000 koalas remaining in NSW and southeast Qld; and nationally; 95% of our koala populations are gone,” WWF Australia said on its website.

How to donate

Donate to WWF Australia online here and read more about their bushfire emergency appeal here.

You can choose to donate once or give monthly, which effectively sees you ‘adopt a koala’.

Where your money will go

Your donation will help WWF Australia have the emergency funds to care for injured wildlife, and then restore homes for koalas and other animals when the fires clear.

$50 helps to plant the first 10,000 trees in critical koala habitat, while $75 can help provide emergency care and medicine for injured koalas.

$100 can protect existing forest, woodland and wildlife that live there, wile $150 can help put pressure on governments to strengthen laws that prevent excessive tree-clearing.

Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

This Queensland-based wildlife hospital was established in the memory of Steve Irwin’s mother, Lyn, whose dream was to create a facility that would take care of wildlife in need. This hospital was opened on 15 November 2008 and admits over 6,000 wildlife patients every year.

How to donate

Whether you’re donating from Australia, the US or anywhere else in the world, you can donate to the Wildlife Hospital online or even send cheque contributions or money orders. There’s more information here.

Where your money will go

The state-of-the-art facilities have a surgical theatre, x-ray room, intensive care units and pathology lab, but what they need is donations from the public which go to medication and essential new equipment.

RSPCA NSW

An organisation that needs no introduction, RSPCA NSW is operating in evacuation centres and regions affected by the bushfires.

“RSPCA NSW is doing all we can to protect the animals in threatened or affected areas. Over the past few days, RSPCA NSW has also taken part in evacuations, gathering animals and taking them to safety,” the organisation wrote on its website.

How to donate

You can donate online to RSPCA NSW through their Bushfire Appeal webpage.

Where your money will go

When the fire zones clear, the RSPCA NSW Inspectorate enters affected areas and assess injured animals.

“This includes the rescue and treatment of native wildlife and livestock who have been most affected by the fires. We need your help with this important work.”

Wildlife Victoria

Much like WIRES, Wildlife Victoria’s Emergency Response Service is a point of contact for members of the public for when they find distressed native animals. Trained operators walk through a series of questions with a caller to gather vital information on the animal and match them with the best volunteer service, whether it’s a rescuer, transporter, carer, vet or other specialist.

How to donate

Donate to Wildlife Victoria through their website, or get in touch if you’d like to make a direct deposit through your bank account. They also accept donations through PayPal, post, or cheque.

Where your money will go

Your donation keeps their Emergency Response Service running seven days a week; trains and supports more volunteers to attend to wildlife emergencies; and educates the public about Australian wildlife.

Zoos Victoria

Zoos Victoria is also helping out with the displaced wildlife during this bushfire crisis and has established a Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund 2020.

“Entering the sites of the current bushfires remains unsafe; Zoos Victoria is taking a responsive role, understanding that our work is going to be most needed in the coming months,” the zoo said on its website.

“What is required right now are funds to ensure we are best placed to deploy this assistance when the time comes.”

How to donate

You can donate to Zoos Victoria online here and find more information about the emergency wildlife fund here.

Where your money will go

Each donation will fund emergency vet care and scientific intervention, which will involve exploring supplementary feeding for surviving animals.

World Animal Protection

The World Animal Protection organisation has been working with government as well as domestic and international companies for the high standards of welfare for animals in their care and to put it on the global agenda. They also save animals’ lives, and have launched an International Australian Bushfire Recovery Appeal.

How to donate

Donate to their appeal through their website.

Where your money will go

The funds you donate will be focused on carrying out disaster responses to animals left injured, stressed, homeless or separated from their families. If the funds raised exceed their need, your money will be redirected to disaster management work to protect animals.

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