Cherry Gardens fire 14 February 2021

SAVEM is maintaining a daily presence on fireground. Our field team is supported by the SAVEM IMT at our Command centre. As expected in a wildlife response, animals come out into the open in small groups, singly or in pairs seeking food and water. As this fireground is largely on Park or in SA Water reserve, there are fewer landowners nearby to observe animals needing veterinary attention. To rectify this, SAVEM is responding to calls from the public and is patrolling the fireground sector by sector, with a focus on known animal refuge sites. The majority of injured animals located this week have been kangaroos, with some koalas and the occasional possum. Animals that are healthy but in burnt areas are supported in situ or relocated to a nearby site with suitable food source. It is difficult to predict when the need for veterinary attention will diminish – our experience over 12 years is that wildlife can survive for five to eight weeks post fire – and sometimes longer. This week we have heard a pleasing increase in birdsong on fireground – always a spirit-lifting sound.

On Wednesday morning we spent some time with an ABC TV news crew, though we are unsure when that may go to air. Today’s photo is of the ABC cameraman filming a koala rescue.