Family opens Kangala Wildlife Rescue centre on KI

A visit to Kangala

The Karran family spent weeks searching for and rescuing injured wildlife after the devastating Kangaroo Island bushfires in January.

In all they rescued 148 koalas and dozens of kangaroos, as well as other species such as possums, birds, goannas and echidna.

Now they have started the Kangala Wildlife Centre on their property at Nepean Bay so they can keep caring for injured wildlife.

The work rescuing wildlife began a few days after the major fire on the western end of the Island on January 3, where dad Jared was involved as a police officer.

The family of four, made up of mum Lisa, dad Jared and children Saskia, 16, and Utah, 13, soon became totally committed to the rescue effort. They only stopped the mission in April.

Utah is still learning from the experience, he said was worthwhile.

"Just the experience with the animals made it worth it; being able to help them and interact with them," he said.

Mum said the experience made the family a lot closer and the wildlife centre came out a need to keep helping, even after the fires.

The Karran family worked with Sam and Dana Mitchell of the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, other volunteers , including arbourist Kailas Wild, whose book The 99th Koala was just published this month.

ARC video

"They were long 12-hour days but we could not stop until we knew all our areas were cleared," Lisa said.

"All the animals were taken to and triaged at the wildlife park where they were either treated and rehabilitated or put down."

The family was running on adrenalin as they slowly checked off the timber plantations, bushland and farmland assigned to them.

They still have two recovering koalas in the wildlife centre, as well as several kangaroos, including Gentle Giant who is still wearing bandages after his feet were burned almost to the bone.

Jared has built a koala enclosure, based on Sam Mitchell's design, and they take regular trips out west to collect feed for the patients.

Their two koalas, like the others rescued at the KI Wildlife Park, will eventually be released.

But for kangaroos it is not that simple, as they are not allowed to be released once they are rescued and hand fed.

Their plan is to expand their current kangaroo enclosure to at least 80 acres, and to make different sections for adults, joeys and the more seriously injured.

They have already started taking in kangaroos and joeys injured on the roads or by dogs.

Recently they were excited to receive a donation of a fire-fighting trailer donated by the Animal Rescue Cooperative, which will help them protect their own property when the next bushfire approaches.

Local company Ugly Dog Transport has kindly agreed to transport over the ARC trailer from the mainland.

Lisa continues fundraising and raising the profile of the wildlife centre, including on the Kangala Wildlife Centre page on Instagram.

This story Family opens Kangala Wildlife Rescue centre on KI first appeared on The Islander.

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