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Photo: Lifeview

Aged care residents craft rescue items for bushfire-affected wildlife

As the estimated number of animals killed in Australia’s bushfires rises to one billion, a group of creative Australians have come together to craft comfort items and food balls for the survivors.

Staff at aged care provider Lifeview consulted with residents about how they would like to help Australia’s native wildlife and they voted to put their knitting, sewing and woodwork skills to good use to create protective pouches, blankets, bat wraps, bird nests, possum boxes and koala mittens.

University of Sydney Professor Chris Dickman, who originally estimated that 480 million animals have been affected since bushfires in NSW started in September 2019, last week revised that figure to 800 million, and said more than one billion animals have been impacted nationally.

Dickman said animals that survive the fires as they burn by fleeing or going underground will return or re-emerge into areas that don’t have the resources to support them.

To do their part to help feed survivors, residents at Willow Wood have put together fauna food balls to be placed in fire-affected areas where nourishment is scarce. So far, they’ve made 300 balls, which were delivered to the Bayside Community Emergency Relief Group for distribution.

The residents’ overall efforts were a response to a call-for-assistance from the Animal Rescue Craft Guild, a charity that creates and supplies materials for rescue groups and carers across the country.

Director of Lifeview Peter Reilly said: “We see these endeavours as long-term projects and will continue with our efforts for the next couple of months as a minimum.

“Lifeview is also looking to create further initiatives to help as best we can as the full impact of this fire season unfolds.”

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