Six young men from the Northern Beaches are trekking 680 kilometres through the tough terrain of the Australian Alps to raise money for Sydney Wildlife Rescue to purchase an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) which will be used to rescue wildlife in need of assistance, particularly after natural disasters such as fires, floods and cyclones.
In the 2020 Black Summer Bushfires, teams of search and rescue volunteers had to carry heavy rescue gear and darting equipment across many kilometres in search of fire-affected wildlife. They also had to carry heavy kangaroos and wallabies (that had been sedated) across the fire grounds to get them to the triage facilities, one of which was Sydney Wildlife’s Mobile Care Unit.
Nearly three billion koalas, kangaroos and other animals are estimated to have died or been displaced in Australia’s Black Summer bushfires.
“The electric ATV and trailer will help volunteers with future search and rescue efforts and transportation of sedated wildlife across difficult terrain, and hopefully save more lives,” said Lynleigh Greig, Sydney Wildlife Rescue volunteer and co-manager of the Mobile Care Unit.
Greig’s son Connor (20) and his schoolfriends Yannick Müller (20), Alex Burton (aka Sanchez, 19), Jonty Earp (20), Harry Peters (20) and Ben Harris (20) aim to raise $20,000 by trekking from Walhalla, VIC to Namadgi Visitor Centre in the ACT.
They commenced their six-week trek on 3 January and have now completed a third of the hike, but still have a long way to go before they finish around 10 February at their final destination.
“I don’t remember what I was doing when I was 19 years old, but I am certain it wasn’t something as purposeful and selfless as what these youngsters are doing,” Greig said.
“They are wrecking their own feet to save ours. I feel very proud to know them.”
To support the young hikers, donate here.