Urgent Help Needed After Devastating Wildfire Ravages CA; WAN Talks With Ariana Katovich, Director Of The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network

While the Holiday Fire in Goleta, California, is now fully contained, the devastation it left behind continues as people and animals are left in peril.

To raise funds to help with the unexpected costs that have resulted from the fire, the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network, which is now caring for an additional 80 animals that it took in since the fire began on July 6th, has launched a Go Fund Me campaign.

The displaced animals are now temporarily housed in several locations along with 365 other animals including wild birds and small mammals that call the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network home.

WAN talked with the non-profit organization’s Director of Development, Ariana Katovich, who set up the fundraising campaign.

“The damage was far more extensive than we thought,” Katovich told WAN.

The loss of the Center’s baby bird trailer was especially devastating according to Katovich, who emphasized that they need a new one as soon as possible. More than 100 of their baby songbirds, which need to be fed every 20 to 30 minutes, are currently sheltered at the Santa Barbara Humane Society.

The organization’s seabirds including seagulls, pelicans, and ducks that were displaced by the fire are finding temporary refuge at the International Bird Rescue in San Pedro, California.

Most of the Center’s small terrestrial animals are in foster care for the time being.

Katovich shared with WAN that while the Center saved a lot of animals, many which suffered from smoke inhalation, sadly, they lost six animals to the fire.

Tragically, Sweetie, the organization’s educational opossum was among the lives lost.

Elmo, another one of the Center’s opossums who had also survived the devastating Thomas Fire, was about to move into his now-destroyed custom-built enclosure. The enclosure did not survive, but fortunately, Elmo did, although he is now suffering from respiratory distress.

On a positive note, Katovich shared that while they are not sure when it will be safe enough for all of the animals to return to the Center, four baby raccoons went home yesterday.

Since their needs are specific, people wanting to donate can find a list of items that the center can use HERE!

You can make a financial contribution to help the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network with fire-related expenses including antibiotics for birds and mammals that suffered smoke inhalation, irrigation system repairs, and enclosures, as well as a much-needed new trailer for the baby birds, HERE!

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