The Peel Zoo has joined in thecommunity effort to help those effected by the Australian bushfires, organising a weekend-long fundraiser to contribute to the relief initiative.
Last week, the Mandurah Mail reported on the local residents and organisations digging deep to donate to charities and lend a helping hand to those in need.
The Peel Zoo will host a family-friendly fun day on February 1 and 2 with the funds raised from raffles, auctions and food and drink to go towards the Bushfire Disaster Appeal.
We had to find something that's positive to try and help with our own healing and help the wildlife.Peel Zoo owner Ranger Red
Throughout the weekend, there will be pony rides available from Farmtastic Party Hire for a gold coin donation and venomous reptile shows presented by West Aussie Reptiles.
The crew from Incredible Creatures Mobile Animal Farm and Animal Actors will also be there with plenty of different animals to educate and interact with the kids.
The raffles will include vouchers from businesses around the Peel region, who were quick to jump on board with the fundraiser.
Some of the local experiences available to be won include Mandurah Indoor Rock Climbing, Ways to Nature, Lane Poole Trees Adventures, Stag Watersports, Pinjarra Golf Club and Pappy's Cafe vouchers.
The Spud Shed Mandurah has also donated some of the food drinks for a Great Aussie BBQ.
Owner Bradley Holland, better known as Ranger Red, said he was inspired to pitch in after learning the bushfires had claimed the lives of an estimated one billion animals across the country.
"It's so much more than people realise - a lot of the reptiles, because they are slow moving, couldn't escape and the birds have been impacted by the air quality, making it harder for them to fly," he said.
"And it's even far more reaching than that - it's the habitat they've lost. And, in the meantime, where do the animals source their food from? It has effected insects as well and they form a large part of other animals' diets.
"We had to find something that's positive to try and help with our own healing and help the wildlife so we thought, having the ability to provide a venue, we could host a fundraiser."
Read more from the Peel Pitches In series:
- Jetty's Bar and Grill raise thousands for the Bushfire Disaster Appeal
- Summer School students and speakers rally together to raise thousands for Red Cross Bushfire Appeal
- 'They would do the same for us': Mandurah-based bushfire brigade to hold fundraisers
- Madora Bay residents dig deep to help out firies
- Mandurah artist raises thousands for wildlife rescue centres impacted by bushfires
Ranger Red said it "saddened" him to think about all the wildlife lost, but he hoped the fundraiser would send financial aid where it was desperately needed.
"For your own mental health, you've almost got to be careful about how much you think about it - you could think yourself into a state if you dwell on it too much," he said.
"Being involved in the zoo and working in the industry, it effects the keepers because they have worked with a lot of the species that have been effected.
"You feel somewhat helpless because we're unfortunately not in a position to be able to pack up and go and help so we had to look for a way we could help."
You feel somewhat helpless because we're unfortunately not in a position to be able to pack up and go and help so we had to look for a way we could help.Peel Zoo owner Ranger Red
The money raised from the weekend-long event will be donated evenly across three organisations.
"Firstly, it will go to Secret Creek Sanctuary in New South Wales - a centre for endangered breeding animals, which was hit by the fires," Ranger Red said.
"They evacuated and didn't lose any of their animals but they lost a lot of their enclosures and infrastructure so the money will help there.
"The second is Northern Valleys Wildlife Support here in WA who have been doing a lot of work with the injured wildlife from the Yanchep fires.
"We will also send money to my good friend and vet Garnett Hall who will be donating veterinary supplies to Kangaroo Island, where he has been based doing veterinary work."
Ranger Red's Raving Fire Appeal at the Peel Zoo will be held from 9am-5pm on February 1 and 2. For more information, visit the Peel Zoo Facebook page.