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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter during Australian Bushfires 

Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter during Australian Bushfires 

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01/13/2020 
Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter is nestled on a private property within the Stanley State Forest, 15 minutes from Yackandandah in Victoria's north-east. Purpose-built and in operation for 25 years, the shelter has more than 100 Australian native animals including kangaroos, koalas, wombats and an emu. The shelter completely non-profit and is run by Glenda Elliot and her husband Ron, along with a team of volunteers.

Glenda feels the environment has noticeably changed in the last five years specifically. There is not enough canopy in the leaves, the gums are less vibrant in their leaves, the bush is timber drive, there is not enough water around. The snow used to settle on the ground there in the winter, not any more. Glenda travels up to 1hr to find the right gum leaves for the koalas. The leaves used to be rubbery and supple, now they're paper and crack easily. Blackberries prevent animals from getting to the rivers and creeks - cut them up.

In 2003, bushfires threatened the shelter so Glenda took the animals into an old mineshaft on the property to keep them safe. Two fires came into the area and burned all around the mineshaft, smoke poured into space in the middle of the night, but Glenda and the animals survived. She sedated them to keep them calm.

The shelter was also spared from the fire. It skirted the perimeter of the property - then a make-shift structure without walls - because there was little fuel on the ground to burn, the animals had eaten it all.

During our visit a heavy smoke haze from the Abbeyard fires (Alpine areas, Victoria) hung over the forest and drifted into the shelter. Glenda kept the doors closed as much as possible to protect the younger animals she has inside (joeys and baby koalas).

There was only one rescue from the fires, a young joey called smokey. A second joey had died not long after arriving. According to Glenda, the animals are too weak to survive these fires, she doesn't expect that many to come in. 
Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia
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