The Isle of Wight Zoo is hosting a Knit and Natter day so staff and the public can make surrogate Joey pouches for infant wallabies, kangaroos and other marsupials that have lost their mothers in the tragic Australian bushfires.
With reports of over 1 billion animals now having been killed by the fires, there is an overwhelming number of young marsupials without their mother’s pouch which is needed for them to grow. Animal rescue organisations are relying on hand-crafted substitutes from donors for all kinds of marsupial orphans which include wallabies, kangaroos, koalas, opossums and wombats. Other injured animals such as flying foxes can use them for recovery also.
Zookeeper Kerry, who looks after the zoo’s own family of 5 wallabies, says:
“We’ve all been stunned by Australia’s plight and the devastation of so much wildlife.
It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless to help from here on the island but when we heard the call for knitted pouches we just had to get staff and public involved. It’s such a practical and simple way to make a real difference.”
The Knit and Natter session will take place from 10:00 on Saturday 18th January in the zoo’s Wildheart Café overlooking Sandown seafront. It is open to anyone wishing to take along their needles and wool to help and there will be a special but simple pattern provided.
Those that prefer sewing to knitting are welcome to head along with their fabric and sewing machines to plug into the zoo’s sockets. Parking will be free for participants and there will be cups of tea provided free as well.
For directions to the Isle of Wight Zoo or to get in touch visit www.isleofwightzoo.com.
Anyone who cannot attend but would still like to make one or more pouches can hand in or post donor pouches to the zoo which is also operating as a collection and dispatch hub for the Animal Rescue Craft Guild. The pattern to follow can be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/arfsncrafts/.
People who wish to support the cause but are unable to make items could help in other ways – the zoo is accepting donations of 8-ply wool that will be distributed to volunteer knitters and there is a Go Fund Me page accepting donations at https://tinyurl.com/ttfjmo4.