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‘We are preparing for the worst’: Kelowna volunteer team travelling to Australia to help wildlife

Kelowna volunteers prepare to help save Australia’s wildlife
A team of volunteers is packing their bags in preparation for their trip to Australia to help save the wildlife from the bushfires.

As the bushfires continue to rage in Australia, a team of volunteers in Kelowna are packing their bags to help save wildlife in danger.

“We are going in to save Australian wildlife and also work with different organizations because the volunteers are taxed right now, they are not getting enough sleep, they need a break,” said volunteer Brad Pattison.

The Australian bushfire season may have impacted over half a billion animals, according to researcher Chris Dickman, an ecology professor with the University of Sydney. More than 5.25 million hectares have been scorched in Australia so far.

READ MORE: ‘Unprecedented’ Australian bushfire season may have impacted half a billion animals: researcher

The team of volunteers has been busy packing their bags with the tools they need to help save koalas, kangaroos, wombats and other wildlife they come across that are in distress while preparing mentally for what they may see.

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READ MORE: Canada prepared to provide further assistance to Australia if needed: minister

“We are preparing for the worst,” said volunteer Kelli Boogemans.

“All we have seen are a few clips and images but we know that it’s going to be way worse than what we are seeing. We are going to, unfortunately, see a lot of things on fire and deceased animals,  it’s not going to be easy.”

The team says they are willing to do whatever it takes to help save Australia’s mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians in the long days ahead. They have no scheduled return date at this time.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the team.