Animal rescue group Barossa Wildlife Rescue is one small step closer to its dream of establishing a community-led sanctuary for native wildlife.
The group is one of seven organisations to receive a grant as part of RAA’s latest Grassroots Giving round. Their $5,000 grant will be put towards training for volunteers and the purchase of rescue equipment, as it lays the foundations to achieve the vision of its founder down the track.
Rose Brooks has been caring for wildlife in the Barossa Valley area for more than three decades, and has run Barossa Wildlife Rescue informally from her home for most of that time.
“I’ve been bringing animals home to care for since I can remember. It must be in my blood somewhere,” said Rose.
“Some years ago I said ‘I need to get some more room to keep doing this,’ so I moved out here (Lyndoch) and it just grew from there.”
The group now responds to more than 500 callouts per year, many of which are vehicle accidents involving native animals. Call outs come from the public, councils, CFS or SA Police, and their rescuers are often the first responders to injured wildlife.
At accident sites, Barossa Wildlife Rescue’s aim is to reduce the risk of further injury or vehicle accident, to capture and care for any injured or orphaned animals or to euthanise critically injured animals when required to prevent ongoing suffering,
Rose says the funds from RAA will be spent on training for some of their 50+ volunteers, many of whom are school or university students. She is also keen to upgrade the rescue equipment to make it easier for volunteers to safely capture injured wildlife.
“The students who come and volunteer absolutely love it, with some going on to pursue careers in wildlife management and animal care.
“Since I retired, it’s become difficult to fund the running expenses of the group. thankfully our local progress association took us under their wings and are helping us set up as an independent, charitable organisation.”
From there, Rose wants to purchase some land so they can keep caring for the local wildlife long into the future.
“My house is only on half an acre, and out the back are enclosures for injured kangaroos, birds, koalas, possums, echidnas and lizards.
“Unfortunately, we are always under pressure for space here and at carers homes as some animals can’t be released back into the wild, particularly kangaroos.
“I desperately want to establish a community-led sanctuary that our volunteers can come to and manage themselves, so the care can continue long after I’m gone.”
To learn more about RAA’s grant programs, visit raa.com.au/grants.