Australian zookeeper describes how he opened his home for animals amid bushfires
An Australian zoo managed to save all of its animals facing threat of bushfires last week.
This is thanks to staff members who rallied together to protect the animals.
On New Year's Eve, an evacuation order was made for the New South Wales area where the zoo is located.
The Mogo Wildlife Park's director, Chad Staples, sheltered several monkeys and pandas in his home on the property.
Staples says many smaller animals were in dangerous parts of the zoo, where the trees were smouldering or where there were potentially flammable materials.
He took smaller animals home with him where they were temporary lodgers in his kitchen overnight.
The larger and more dangerous animals, including lions and gorillas, were taken to their night enclosures for safety.
It was a very different New Year's Eve. It started at about 6am for us when the evacuation warning to leave the town came through.Chad Staples, Director at Mogo Wildlife Park
We started protecting the site. It meant getting water onto everything to eliminate fuel and catching the small animals that were in difficult-to-reach spots of the zoo and getting them to a safer place before starting our vigilant watch of the zoo.Chad Staples, Director at Mogo Wildlife Park
The big horse stocks, rhinos giraffes, zebra, were given access to every single paddock we have in that section of the park. They chose where they felt safe.Chad Staples, Director at Mogo Wildlife Park
The big, dangerous animals, lions, tigers, gorillas and orangutans, were all moved into the night dens and fed and watered to keep it as normal as possible for them.Chad Staples, Director at Mogo Wildlife Park
Some of the smaller monkeys, like marmosets and tamarins, and things as big as red pandas were actually moved up to my house which is in the property.Chad Staples, Director at Mogo Wildlife Park
Ecologists at the University of Sydney and WWF Australia estimate that a billion animals has died in Australia's bushfires.
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