Australia's Kangaroo Island Seeking Volunteers to Feed Koalas Injured in Bushfires

Stacey Leasca

The nation of Australia still needs your help.

Since late 2019, some 27 million acres of land have burned around the country, with more being destroyed every day. Now is not the time to look away or stop caring, but rather to lean in and assist in every way you can. And that includes volunteering to feed fire-ravaged animals.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is seeking volunteers to distribute food and water to the endangered animals living on Kangaroo Island, Australia's third-larget island.

"We don't know how many animals are fending for themselves in totally barren landscapes, but wildlife rescuers are starting to find animals in extremely poor condition due to lack of food and water,” RSPCA chief executive Paul Stevenson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). According to Stevenson, the organization’s plan includes "targeted, ground-based feed distribution” to as many of the animals as possible.

According to ABC, the plan will include up to three teams of three people each rotating to ensure water and food are available to the animals at all times.

The teams will each work in a seven-day rotation with a field operations manager. Any interested volunteers must be available for at least one seven-day cycle.

Volunteers, the organization stressed, must also be physically fit and have strong coping skills to face the severely burned landscape as well as the “distressing reality of severely burnt wildlife – both deceased and alive.”

Preferred volunteer skills include having first-aid knowledge, animal handling experience, and familiarity with driving on off-road terrain. In return for volunteering, all transport, food, and accommodation costs will be covered by donations made to RSPCA South Australia’s Bushfire Appeal.

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"With so much natural habitat and sources of food destroyed, macropods (kangaroos, wallabies, etc), possums, and koalas that survived the bushfires now face starvation and dehydration," the RSPCA rote. "With help from volunteers, we will focus our efforts on these species, which have specific dietary needs and are least able to adapt to the changed landscape."

Those looking to volunteer in person can apply here. But that’s not the only way to assist. Here are all the ways you can still help Australia, including with your tourism dollars by paying them a visit this year.