Planes drop thousands of kilograms of carrots and potatoes for starving animals who fled bushfires
Aircraft in Australia are being commandeered to perform emergency food drops to aid the nation’s ailing wildlife. In the aftermath of the wildfires that have been ravaging the country, the government of New South Wales decided to launch “Operation Rock Wallaby” - a campaign aimed at feeding the state’s struggling marsupials.
For a week, the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service has been carrying out food drops in the Capertree, Kangeroo and Wolgan valleys, as well as Yengo, Jenolan, Oxley Wild Rivers and Currancubundi National Parks. It is estimated that over two tonnes of fresh vegetables have been deployed.
According to MailOnline, News South Wales environment minister Matt Kean has been particularly concerned about how the state’s wildlife might sustain itself having been forced out of its natural habitat. As he put it:
“The wallabies typically survive the fire itself, but are then left stranded with limited natural food as the fire takes out the vegetation around their rocky habitat.”
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“The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance.”
“When we can, we are also setting up cameras to monitor the uptake of the food and the number and variety of animals there.”
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His concerns have been echoed by Animals Australia spokeswoman Lyn White, who added:
“With roads likely shut for weeks, the risk of starvation for surviving wildlife in the area is very real.”
“It would be tragic if there was a further loss of life because the needs of surviving animals were not being met.”
The fires that have been raging for the best part of three months have had a particularly devastating impact on Australia’s wildlife, with some estimates suggesting that over 1.25 billion animals have been killed either directly or indirectly by the blaze.