By Derek Schlennstedt
Bungalook Creek Wildlife Shelter is just a few steps away from finishing the construction of their new intensive care unit, which will assist them in housing and rehabilitating injured wildlife.
On 6 March Federal Liberal Member for Casey, Tony Smith visited Bungalook Wildlife Centre and announced the $20,000 grant to help the not-for-profit organisation in finalising their ICU centre, while also taking the time to get up-close and personal with several cute and cuddly joey’s.
“It is great to visit the team at Bungalook Creek Wildlife shelter here in Mt Evelyn to announce $20,000 of Federal Government funding towards the fitting out of their new intensive care facility,” MP Tony Smith said.
“Emma and the team of volunteers at Bungalook Creek Wildlife Shelter are doing a great job.
“This federal government funding, which has been matched by the shelter, will go a long way to helping more injured and orphaned native animals.”
With the shelter catering to over 400 animals each year, that funding will certainly go a long way and Emma Cash, president of Bungalook Wildlife Shelter said that the ICU centre would be a huge improvement on their current facilities.
“The ICU unit is a massive upgrade for what we’ve had originally … before we were confided to a room which is the size of a bedroom whereas now they have a massive 12 by 9 metre room,” Emma said.
“It’s been constructed to house injured and native wildlife, perfectly built for animals that have fractures or need intensive medical treatment.
“We have an aviary that’s being built, specialised wombat pens, and a massive area for kangaroos and joeys to jump in a safe and indoor environment while they’re recovering … it’s all for the animal, it’s all been built with them in mind.”
The $20,000 from the federal government has gone to finishing-off the new area including tiling, so the Joey’s can jump around on it, a new kitchen area, storage area, toilet area and new linen closet.
“It allows us to finish off stuff, stuff which would have taken years to complete,” said Emma.
The shelter caters to mainly Australian marsupials and mammals, though occasionally receives birds and bats.
“We tend to get a lot of marsupials – kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and some bats,” said Emma.
“We will do micro and grey headed bats, gliders and possums and will do the odd bird … we mainly get a lot of animals with fractures and injuries, though we have a great medical team.”
For 24 hours a day, 7 days a week the shelter provides nursing care and support with the goal of restoring orphaned and injured wildlife to their natural condition and habitat.
The construction of the ICU building has taken over a year to complete and Emma said that it would never have been accomplished without the support and help of community organisations and the federal government.
“It’s been a massive undertaking,” she said.
“It’s taken a year and a half, and we’re just in the process of moving everyone in … it’s been a really long journey, so hopefully it’ll be up and running in a month.”
“We rely on a lot of local businesses to support us, it’s been phenomenal how much support we’ve been given … without them this dream would never have become a reality.”