Macropod pen burnt in the fires

Macropod pen burnt in the fires

You can prepare but you can never predict.

I remember the Friday before, it was dark and eerie in the middle of the day. The macropod pen had been cleared of all debris and the joeys and some of their equipment had been prepared, ready for a quick exit. Fast forward three days and the time to think comes to an end.

I thought I heard a siren! It was as if they had been told we were here and came part way down the road to give us a warning… no need to tell us twice as we were packing the joeys into the car as soon as we were told to leave.

What do you take? what do you leave behind… take the joeys and go.

I did not like to leave my son and husband behind, but they were determined to stay and see if they could at least save the house.

Pictures on the news that night led me to believe that all property where we lived had been taken by the fire, the pictures from where our house was showed that nothing would have survived a solid 80-foot wall of flames.

A phone call later informed me that although all the area was burned beyond recognition and two houses and all surrounding infrastructure on the property had been lost, our house had been saved. Unfortunately though, we lost the macropod pen.

A temporary pen was erected and was all we had until we could come up with a better solution. We were left without water sources, power, tools and equipment, but we had our house and our lives.

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife grant came at a very opportune time. We applied and got ready to work and again disaster struck! From October, we had the heaviest rain and floods that we have had in the 40 years we have lived here. Finally, the rains cleared enough for us to prepare the area and erect the pen. We now need to wait for the winter frosts to pass before we can get turf in and then the macropods!

This pen, on completion, will serve the Mid North Coast and surrounding areas and increase capacity for wildlife care and rehabilitation. Thanks to Wildlife Heroes for helping us to replace our pen and allowing us to continue our important work.

Cheryl Malcolm
Wildlife Group