By Jo Wainer, Watch for Wildlife
THIS year, Wildlife Victoria gave wildlife carer Sue Moore a grant to build a large shed to house injured wildlife.
For more than 15 years, Sue and her husband Michael have shared their home with the injured and orphaned wildlife they look after.
The animals took over the spare bedroom and often spilled into the bathroom and other parts of their house.
Koalas used the dining room for exercise as they jumped onto Sue and climbed on the furniture. Now, they have their own shed to complement the two outdoor koala enclosures and two small aviaries.
It was a major job to pull down the old shed, clear the area of vegetation, pour the concrete slab, and build the shed. A new water tank has been added, too.
Sue obtained office fittings that were being discarded by the Bass Coast Shire Council and now has shelves and benches on which to store the resources she needs to provide care.
She has shelves stacked with blankets, towels, sheets and pouches. She has three large carriers and a playpen to contain injured koalas inside the shed until they are well enough to move outside. She has an indoor clothes rack from which to hang pouches for baby marsupials, a heated aquarium for baby possums, and two indoor carriers for birds.
The shed has washing and drying machines, a roller door, as well as sliding doors, and heating. Most of all, Sue has room to move, an orderly environment for the equipment she needs and no more wombats, birds, koalas or echidnas in her house. The grandchildren have reclaimed the spare bedroom.
Sue is caring for seven koalas, a shearwater and kookaburra, two tiny pygmy possums, blue tongue lizards, and a baby echidna. This takes so much love, skill and time, and now she has a care unit which is fit for purpose, thanks to the generosity of the many people whose hearts were broken by the loss of wildlife in the East Gippsland fires.
There is more to be done. Birds of prey need a large aviary so they can strengthen their wings before being released, and the shed needs solar panels to contain the cost of heating and cooling.
If you want to donate to Sue to help her buy those, plus petrol and supplies for caring for sick and injured animals, she banks at the Bendigo Bank, and her account number is BSB 633000 and account number 167210343.