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Emergency Vet Care During Australian Bushfires


A mobile vet care unit is set up to treat injured animals in the immediate aftermath of the devastating Australian bushfires. Volunteers treated an array of animals, from kangaroos to snakes to lorikeets.

- [Narrator] On a stretch of coastline busy with holiday makers, the Currowan fire is sparked by a single lightning strike.

But it grows into a monster spanning more than a hundred kilometers.

(radio chatter) It's speed is so extreme firefighters are caught unaware.

- [Firefighter] It's going further up there (background chatter) - [Narrator] In its midst, a kangaroo sanctuary has miraculously survived.

- It's all right, it's okay.

- [Narrator] A mobile vet care unit has arrived to treat casualties from the surrounding forest.

- [Woman] I've got a patient for you (mumbles). - [Narrator] everything from an abandoned baby swamp wallaby to one of Australia's most feared reptiles, a deadly tiger snake.

- [Woman] Come on, come on.

- [Narrator] A 10 month old Joey who's been named Sage needs her bandages changed daily, while her badly burnt feet recover.

(veterinarians chattering) - It's already lost that now.

- [Woman On Right] If they lose the nails on those big middle toes - [Woman On Left] This one - [Woman On Right] Then they can't really hop properly.

- [Woman On Left] Can't really do what they need to do.

- [Narrator] The next arrival to the clinic is a juvenile rainbow lorikeet.

- I'm assuming that he's been in a hollow, mom and dad haven't come back and he's at some point decided to abandon the nest.

- [Narrator] They're known for their boisterous personalities, but this one seems uncharacteristically subdued.

- I wouldn't know if you can say a bird's traumatized, but I've haven't seen a bird come in like this before.

- [Woman] My biggest question is the smoke and how we know what internal damage has been done.

- And he doesn't smell like sour or anything.

- [Narrator] The bird seems physically healthy, but at this age still needs care and company.

- I definitely would try and buddy him up, as soon as you know, you can find one of similar, similar age.

- I'll put the call out.

- Okay (laughs). - We'll get him a friend.