The Northern Rivers community has got behind Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary as it rebuilds from recent damaging floods.

On April 4th, a sudden downpour wreaked havoc on the sanctuary in the Northern Rivers, flooding half the sanctuary in just half an hour. Thankfully, staff managed to save the wildlife before any could be injured.

Cat Gerke, Marketing Manager at Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, said staff were overwhelmed by the flooding, as no one expected it to happen.

“Our pond didn’t even flood this badly in the 2022 Northern Rivers Floods, so we weren’t expecting a result like this from under 48 hours of wet weather! The community rallying behind us and supporting us has meant so much. We are now just getting on with the job at hand, for the wildlife.

“We need to rebuild an enclosure for Rocky (the Sulfur Crested Cockatoo), replace flood damaged timber, mesh, paths, furniture, and buildings. As our pond is not manmade, we also want to ensure the health of the biodiversity that lives in the pond so that all wild animals are healthy and not effected by run off from upriver.”

The sanctuary has also had to demolish some of the aviaries that were too damaged for birds to return to, and paths that were washed out have since been patched and repaired in the short term, while they hope to find more long-term solutions with the community’s support so that this doesn’t happen again.

“The community has supported getting us back on track and helping with the clean-up.  Over the last few days, we have moved over 20 cubic meters of sand, gravel, mulch, and chip to replenish our enclosures, paths, and overall facility,” said Gerke.

Reopening yesterday, Gerke said the only change to the sanctuary’s schedule was that they are aren’t doing the Free Flight Bird Show for the next few days as the birds were moved out of their permanent enclosures during the floods.

“They are back in their homes now but due to the change in their routine we aren’t flying them while we do some more training and get them back in their routine.”

Gerke thanked the community as a whole, as well as anyone who donated time, money, or equipment.

“Plateau Landscapes were the first to act and sort us with huge deliveries of substrate which we would not have been able to reopen without.”

If you would like to donate to Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary’s recovery, you can visit their GoFundMe here.

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