Volunteers Are Sewing Pouches For Australia’s Orphaned Kangaroos And Koalas
Volunteers from across the globe are spending their free time sewing pouches, baskets and nests for animals who have been displaced in the Australian bushfire crisis.
It’s thought over one billion animals have already been killed as a result of the fires, which have burned 13.5 million acres of land across the country. Therefore, every little animal saved is a success.
In an effort to make displaced animals more comfortable, volunteers with the Animal Rescue Craft Guild have been making items which will keep creatures warm and cosy, with their creations being gifted to baby koalas, kangaroos, bats and sugar gliders.
The group say they design, sew, make, and recycle ‘everything to make products that help animal rescue’, including ‘beds, crates, containers and support equipment to help rescuers.’
Avalon Llewellyn, volunteer and group administrator for the Craft Guild, joined towards the middle of 2019 when there were only 1,000 members. Volunteers initially focused on making dog coats, blankets and cat sweaters, but as the bushfires became an urgent matter they altered their creations to help the animals suffering as a result of the blazes.
As conditions worsened, the Craft Guild’s membership grew. Llewellyn told CNN there were 23,000 members by January 1, and just one week later the number of volunteers stands at more than 120,000.
Members of the Guild’s Facebook group exchange tips and questions, though there are some guidelines in place to ensure the creations are fit for use. Joey pouches and bat wraps must be hand sewn, while bird nests may be crocheted. All creations must follow a template provided by the group, and they should be made with a soft material such as cotton or linen.
Young marsupials, such as possums, koalas and wombats, require pouches to grow. If they have lost their mothers in the bushfires, they rely on hand-stitched products from donors.
Just last week, the group sewed 5,000 bat wraps, thousands of joey pouches and hundreds of blankets and towels, and with membership increasing the creations are likely to continue coming thick and fast.
According to the latest update on the Craft Guild Facebook page, the most in-demand items at the moment include joey pouches, hanging pouches, bird nests, blankets and bat wraps.
Donations are coming from across the globe, with volunteers working in countries such as Italy, the US, the UK, Finland and Singapore, as well as in Australia. The creations are then distributed to independent animal carers across Australia.
The country is in need of as much support as possible during the crisis; it’s incredible to see so many people come together in an effort to do their part.
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CreditsCNN and 1 other
Animal Rescue Craft Guild/Facebook