Okanagan team leads animal rescue efforts in Australia

Brad Pattison’s team arrived in Sydney on Monday

They just arrived in the fire-ravaged country on Monday, but Kelowna resident Brad Pattison and his team have been working tirelessly to help Australia’s wildlife.

Pattison said his team hit the ground running, working 16 to 17 hour days searching for, rescuing, and feeding injured animals.

“After we landed in Sydney, we took 24 hours to study the land and find out where the need is and what the call to action looks like in different parts of New South Wales,” he said.

“We’ve rented a couple of vehicles to transport gear, supplies and personnel and then we drove to Kangaroo Valley and a little past there, we started to get word that they needed help at different sanctuaries.”

READ MORE: BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

The team then moved further south to Sussex Inlet, where they started collaborating with local organizations. Now, they’ve been asked to lead the search for injured kangaroos after helping to resuce several of the animals.

When Black Press Media caught up with the group, Pattison said they were making their way to the New South Wales Wildlife Council headquarters to get ready and head out again.

Over the last few days, he added they’ve also been setting up feed stations including fruit necklaces, where they leave pieces of fruit on wires hung up on trees, leaving yams and sweet potatoes near burrows, and hay piles for kangaroos.

Kelli Boogemans said it’s been an emotional rollercoaster since day one.

“We’re having some pretty amazing moments like when we’re able to save one or two or three or a whole group (of animals). But also, there’s a lot of horrible sights we’re seeing,” she said.

“It’s kind of tough and everyone (on the team) has been emotional.”

Pattison said he wanted to thank those who have donated to the team, but he added there’s still a big need, especially when it comes to medical supplies and medication.

For more information on how to give to the team, visit their Facebook fundraiser or GoFundMe campaign.

READ MORE: Kelowna animal rescue team headed to fire-ravaged Australia to help wildlife

READ MORE: B.C.-based firefighting plane crashes in Australia, killing three


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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