The Summer of Smoke – David and Goliath
It’s been a terrible summer in Australia so far. This burnt tree is set up in Sydney as a poignant symbol of the ongoing devastation to our natural environment, not to mention the horrific toll it’s taken on Australian wildlife. The mega fire front is still raging. With funding cuts, climate change denialism and a complete lack of leadership from the top, the fate of the affected animals and humans has been left to volunteer firefighters and the communities themselves.
In recent days Sydney has ironically lived up to it’ s nickname “the big smoke.” Even so, not even the smoke haze which has lent Sydney a new dystopian reality has managed to convince leadership that we have a crisis.
Meanwhile, down on the ground…
Out of the many struggles for survival, during these fires one of the most heartwarming stories I have been following is the plight of the Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park outside Sydney.
In the direct path of the mega fire, staff at the park were tasked with the Herculean task of moving all their animals to safety. The call went out through social media and the team were able to effectively move all their fur people to specialist carers often located hundreds of kilometres away. This was no small feat in the heat and the smoke when you have to set aside fear and just get on with the job. That they were able to save their animals is a testament to dedication and community spirit. Once the animals were safe the team went back to defend their wildlife park against the fire and rescue any wildlife that came into the park. There are still good people out there!
Changed wind conditions and successful back burning eventually saved the park from destruction. The animals have been returned to their homes. Take a squizz here to see how happy Gumnut the koala was to be home.
As an online community we need to support good people doing good work. With income lost as a result of the fires and the cost of moving the animals to safety, the park still needs support. If you are interested in helping through donation you can find a link to their gofundme page here.
We’re on our own guys, the protection of our natural environment is down to us. If you love animals and want to see them protected for future generations, then get behind the people on the front line. The top end aren’t listening.