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Hundreds of animals saved by staff as fire reaches zoo

3AW Afternoons

Staff at Mogo Zoo, on the NSW South Coast, defied evacuation recommendations to rescue hundreds of animals after bushfires reached the zoo grounds on New Year’s Eve.

Zookeepers worked through the night, battling spot fires to ensure the animals were kept safe.

“At its worst we were surrounded from all sides,” Mogo Zoo director Chad Staples told 3AW’s Darren James.

Mr Staples sheltered around 20 of the animals in his own home.

“I did have to move some of the animals that we could move into the kitchen and bedrooms in the house,” he said.

“The bigger, more dangerous animals, like lions, tigers, gorillas, orangutans, all just got moved into their night dens.

“For the bigger things like giraffes we just gave them full access to all of their yards so they could put themselves where they felt comfortable.”

The zoo is experiencing a reprieve at the moment, but conditions are forecast to worsen in coming days.

Staff remain on site 24 hours a day, caring for the animals and putting out spot fires.

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Former MP Emma Husar started a fundraising page to help the zoo recover and care for animals in the coming months.

The zoo is expecting to also treat a slew of native animals who have been injured in the fires.

“Displaced wildlife are going to need feed and resources going forward,” Ms Husar said.

“The gardens and the outside of the property appears to have some damage.”

You can donate HERE.

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