NEW SOUTH WALES (WAFB) - Koalas in a now-charred Australian outback are being rescued by wildlife carers in LSU swag.
Gabe Ligon, owner of Barn Hill Preserve in Ethel, Louisiana, has been implanted in Australia since early January caring for animals and wildlife workers devastated by the historic bushfires. Over 12 million acres have been burned, leaving approximately 1 billion animals without refuge.
About 1,000 LSU joey pouches and squirrel gliders arrived in Australia in January. The pouches are “like gold” to carers in the wild. They were handcrafted and donated by Evey Blalock and a team of LSU fans.
“There will always be a need for joey pouches,” Ligon told WAFB in a skype interview.
According to Ligon, most of the fires are under control now but there is still a need for rain in New South Wales, where he and his crew are working. He says the trio he began working with earlier this year has doubled in size.
“Managing human emotions is very tough in these situations but our group all has a singular goal of helping wildlife,” he says. “Our field station is successfully feeding hundreds of animals that were starving to death from the fire.”
Ligon’s team has removed orphaned and injured animals from the New South Wales site and continues to channel much-needed supplies to carer across the area, including Victoria, Australia to the south.
“We’ve used nearly all of the funds we’ve raised,” Ligon says. “I’ve not met a single wildlife carer who’s received money from some of the big groups with billboards up in the states.”
Ligon says he’ll return to the United States in about a week and continue to fundraise from home, with plans to start a nonprofit to deal with situations like this in the future. Global Fauna Support will aim to aid wildlife and those who care for them across the ever-changing planet by connecting people to animals in wild places through financial aid, volunteer services, professional placement, and captive management programs.