Fires are still raging across the Australian bushlands, leaving people homeless and wildlife in danger. In order to combat the at-risk nature of the marsupial population, the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service recently started doing food drops so wallabies can dine on carrots and sweet potato that appear to them literally from the sky. Called “Operation Rock Wallaby,” the program aims to sustain the wallaby population, as their natural food sources have been seriously limited.
Operation Rock Wallaby 🦘- #NPWS staff today dropped thousands of kgs of food (Mostly sweet potato and carrots) for our Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby colonies across NSW 🥕🥕 #bushfires pic.twitter.com/ZBN0MSLZei
— Matt Kean MP (@Matt_KeanMP) January 11, 2020
New South Wales Environment Minister Matt Kean said while the animals have managed to flee the fires, they are now left without a food source.
“The wallabies typically survive the fire itself, but are then left stranded with limited natural food as the fire takes out the vegetation around their rocky habitat,” Kean said. ‘The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance.
He tweeted a picture of wallaby enjoying a carrot. Look at its little claws!
The past week, the parks service has dropped food for rock wallaby colonies in the Capertree and Wolgan valleys, Yengo National Park, the Kangaroo Valley, and around Jenolan, Oxley Wild Rivers and Curracubundi national parks.
“When we can, we are also setting up cameras to monitor the uptake of the food and the number and variety of animals there,” Kean said.
Other groups are also chipping in to help. Animals Australia Spokeswoman Lyn White said her organization is working as hard as they can to make sure the wildlife that has survived the fires doesn’t perish from starvation.
Another happy story.— Animals Australia (@AnimalsAus) January 13, 2020
Little Dora was healthy enough today to be released back into a safe area. She was very happy to be back where she belongs. 🌳 pic.twitter.com/3M3Qt0JRLG
“With roads likely shut for weeks, the risk of starvation for surviving wildlife in the area is very real,” White said. “It would be tragic if there was a further loss of life because the needs of surviving animals was not being met.”
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Animals Australia wrote a thank you message informing the public that they are dedicated to saving the displaced animals and that all donations will be “distributed to wherever they will have the most direct and meaningful impact for animals.”
“We continue to be absolutely humbled by the outpouring of love and generosity and support from all across the world.”