We operate on an average of 50 animals (wildlife) in care at any one time and in addition to those in care we receive around 700 new wildlife calls to respond to each year. Many of our patients require intensive care and treatments and some small orphans need feeding every 2 hours. Our day is dominated by the regular rounds of feeding (and toileting of very young ones) and cleaning but at any time this routine can be interrupted by a call to action to attend to a diverse and often shocking variety of animals in distress. It varies from dehydrated lizards, baby birds fallen out of nests and bats discovered in roof space, to the horrors of mangy wombats with fly blown wounds, kangaroos caught up and hanging in fences or fallen down mineshafts and animals of all varieties involved in grisly road traumas with severed or broken limbs, concussion and bloody wounds. Even in the worst cases there are always orphaned pouch young to consider.
At the current level of support for their work Gayle and Jon must provide the vast majority of the funds for the care work at the Hepburn Wildlife Shelter, as well as the expertise and the physical work. Additional volunteer help at the shelter is essential to our operation in order to keep up with the work load. Issues such as the current drought, wildlife culling pressures by commercial interests, prescribed burning of wildlife habitat, residential and commercial development and increased traffic on the roads all contribute to our workload. Fortunately, we enjoy our work immensely.