FAWNA in Busselton has acquired the State’s first mobile emergency rescue facility, specifically for all wildlife.
“This is the only one like this that I know of in WA,” FAWNA president Jeff Falconer said.
The seven metre caravan is currently being fitted out to be self-sufficient so it can be used anywhere in the region.
It will also be an educational vehicle for FAWNA.
Solar panels are being attached so it has its own power source and there are cages inside it so that rescued animals can be housed and receive treatment on the spot.
“In a large scale emergency, such as a fire, we would have vets, vet nurses, and rehabilitators, like me, who will be inside the caravan when animals are brought in by other rescuers,” Jeff said.
“The wildlife will get vet care initially and it (caravan) will stay as long as the emergency exists to treat injured wildlife.”
Jeff used the Margaret River fires as an example of how useful the caravan will be.
“We had to start from scratch to set up a base down there. We put in hundreds of hours of work and were very lucky one of our members had a house we could operate from.
“Hopefully we don’t have that sort of emergency again, but we needed to prepare in case there was another one. We looked at originally getting a trailer but it was going to cost us almost as much as the caravan and because this one was already being used by a wildlife group in Victoria, and we learnt that they were buying a new one, we were able to acquire this and do a major refit to our specifications.
“Luckily, and through much hard work, we were able to raise enough funds to do it.
“DEC helped with funding, such that we could buy the van, and we are putting in everything else at the moment. We are trying to get supportive funding also from the City of Busselton for a shed, as DEC have kindly allowed us to park the caravan on their site. The van will be based here, but we will make it available for any wildlife group in the South West if we aren’t using or needing it.”
Jeff said the caravan would go on show at the fair in Margaret River on June 1 and hoped that as many people as possible would take the opportunity to see it.
“The van will also act as our publicity machine to try to encourage new members to join FAWNA and also for creating awareness in the community of the work we do. Being a not-for-profit organisation we are always in need of support. All donations are gratefully received, and all new members and supporters are welcomed to assist us in this valuable cause.”