RSPCA NSW on the road: Inspector Tyson in Oberon and Lithgow

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As our bushfire relief efforts continue across New South Wales, we’re keeping our dedicated supporters updated with the latest developments. Below, Inspector Tyson has given a small insight into his week helping animals in the bushfire-affected regions around Lithgow and Oberon.

My name’s Tyson. I’ve been at RSPCA NSW for nine years, and an Inspector for five.

For all of those nine years, I’ve never seen such an amazing outpour of support for the animals of NSW as we’ve seen recently. Especially from people overseas.

Because of the overwhelming generosity of our supporters, I’ve been able to spend the past few months helping so many different animals up and down the coast, making for some of the most rewarding and, at times, difficult work in my entire career.

I wanted to tell you about one of my most recent jobs helping bushfire-affected animals around Lithgow and Oberon.  

For a week, I joined a team of experts from various animal welfare organisations, determined to find and help as many animals as possible, particularly native animals and wildlife. With such devastation, there were so many animals suffering, displaced and scared, just waiting to be rescued, helped and healed.

The team, made up of veterinarians, wildlife carers, arborists and myself, had a huge task ahead of us… But we were willing and able to turn that around, one animal at a time.

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More often than not, the days extended to 10 hours long and were quite challenging – any time there was a report of an injured animal, we were desperate to find them and ease their pain. But even when we spotted them, sometimes they were just too frightened, injured or pained to let us close enough to help.

One day, there was a report about an injured joey that some of the local wildlife carers had been trying to take in. They continued returning to find him and on the Tuesday, I joined in their search. For the rest of the week, we repeatedly revisited the area he was last seen.

It wasn’t until the Friday that we finally saw him again. To be able to take the poor joey to the team of veterinarians and treat his wounds, he had to be temporarily sedated, along with his mother. She was healthy, but it was much better to keep them together while the team worked on the joey’s injuries. The poor fella had burnt feet but was treated and bandaged up successfully. He remained in the capable hands of the dedicated local wildlife carers and recovered in a peaceful and safe place with his mum.

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The week also involved combing through thick bush to find any other animals who needed our help, including two koalas who, thankfully, were deemed perfectly healthy and left to rest up in a tree. We also treated a number of eastern grey kangaroos, one of whom sadly had an eye missing. That girl had the chance to recover in care.

Even though the work is both physically and mentally draining, I was so grateful to be there trying to make a difference. There is just so much destruction, it’s heartbreaking.

But it is the community of supporters have made such a difference to all the unique, beautiful and precious creatures of our state. It is what keeps me going today, tomorrow, and the next time I get called out.

All the best,

Inspector Tyson

To find out more about our bushfire response, including information on where we’ve been and what we’re doing, head here.