TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – 24 people died and thousands of animals lost their homes because of wildfires in Australia. Topeka Zoo Director Brendan Wiley says part of their mission is to help animal conservation.
Wiley reached out to the CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to offer help for the animals. Wiley received this response from a vet in Australia.
“While the fires are a distance from our zoos, our vet teams have been deployed into the fire areas where they are setting up triage and critical care facilities. It is still early days and the actual fire grounds are still too dangerous for people to enter and find injured animals. However, many animals are being brought in for care, with varying types of injury.
We are also concerned for animals after the fires as even if they survive the fires there will be no food or shelter available. We anticipate a number of responses both at our zoos and in the wild to address the problems. Finally, there will be a significant impact on endangered species, many live only in the fire area, once the area is safe we will get an idea of the scale of loss,” said Dr. Jenny Gray, the CEO of Zoos Victoria. Gray is in Australia working to help the animals.
Wiley says they hope to possibly raise money to send to the association.
“Through that global organization we can really impact a lot of help and get it to places where the dollars are actually needed in a rather efficient manor,” said Wiley.
Wiley doesn’t think they will take in displaced animals, but he says he’d like to help in other ways. He said he is waiting until more information is available before he knows exactly how he can help.