Devastation and hope

Dedicated local wildlife carers Scott and Nikki Medwell of the Red Box Wildlife Shelter at Elphinstone have been doing what they can to support stricken fellow wildlife carers in Victoria and beyond.
Scott made the trek north earlier this month to offer assistance to fellow carers and friends Sara Tilling and Gary Henderson of the Cabargo Wildlife Sanctuary in New South Wales, which was ravaged by a terrible fire on New Year’s Day.
The couple were heartbroken to return to their property 48 hours later and find their home and scores of their beautiful animals, many which they had reared from joeys, had been decimated.
They returned with a trailer-load of food and camping gear and set up camp and waited for their roos and wombats to return ‘home’ but many of those that did had to be euthanised due to their terrible injuries.
Moved by their plight, Scott jumped in the car and drove to Cabargo determined to do what he could to help.
Scott said what he discovered on his arrival was just heartbreaking.
The friends have been spending their days searching for injured wildlife and rebuilding enclosures and pens to house them in.
Meanwhile back home Nikki and fellow wildlife carer Kat Agar-Teehan started a Go Fund Me page to assist the couple to rebuild their shelter, which has already reached over $86,230.
Nikki and fellow carers have also set about collecting necessary supplies.
“While central Victorian wildlife shelters and carers have been fortunate not to be directly impacted by the fires currently ravaging our state and beyond, many have given away their own supplies to those in need,” Nikki said.
“Many shelters were simply not stocked to contend with the magnitude of these mega fires,” she said.
Shelters across the state have sent whatever they could spare to answer the call.
Nikki and fellow carers have now gone a step further, coordinating with shelters in Queensland and several local shelters to get supplies here and then deliver them where they are needed, as well as replenishing Victorian shelters.
“There is no government assistance for this. It’s carers helping fellow carers. A pallet should arrive from Queensland this week or next,” Nikki said.
“Rehydration fluids, non-stick bandaging, vet wrap, splints, syringes, drip units etc. As long as it didn’t require a prescription from a vet, these ladies up north will and are sourcing it.
“Our Queensland friends would like this arrangement to be ongoing so hopefully Red Box Wildlife Shelter will be able to encourage more shelters to ask for help with supplies etc.” Nikki said.
If you would like to donate to the Cabargo Wildlife Shelter Go Fund me page visit

Elphinstone’s Scott Medwell with a blackened face after a hard day’s work rebuilding at Cabargo.

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