With the horrific bushfires heading straight towards the Mogo Zoo in New South Wales, Australia, director Chad Staples and several other of his dedicated staff, made the decision to take home as many animals as possible in order to keep them safe. A number of the Zoo’s staff also stayed behind in order to care for those animals who couldn’t be transported to ensure safety from the fire by setting into motion a deliberate plan to dampen the fire’s arrival. This incredible cooperative effort saved over 200 animals.
Staples spoke with ABC News Australia about what he and his staff were able to accomplish in the face of such apocalyptic conditions.
Right now in my house there are animals of all descriptions in all the different rooms, that are there safe and protected… not a single animal lost …What we did with the dangerous animals — lions, tigers, orangutans — is encouraged them to the night den, kept them calm, like nothing was happening, and we were able to protect them at that site. …Thanks to the amazing team that just loves these animals like their family, we were able to do so. It was amazing. We got out and we watered everything we possibly could. Any species of animal that was small enough or in an area that we couldn’t protect, we caught up.
'There's a tiger to the back of the house.' ???
Sara Ang from the wildlife park says all animals and staff are safe.
— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) December 31, 2019
The local community has responded to Staples with encouragement.
Things have calmed down in the few days since. It’s even started to rain in the area.
The Zoo has set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise funds for recovery. There are other ways to help specific groups including the evacuees, communities, firefighters and wildlife that have been hurt by this heartbreakng fire.