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1 December 2005
Visit a wildlife shelter that has cared for injured native birds and animals for nearly 10 years.
SYL COOPER (DARLING RANGE WILDLIFE SHELTER VOLUNTEER): I started here with nothing - no water, no electricity, no telephone. We built all of this - every stick and everything, and every tree I have helped to plant.
DIANNE BAIN: Syl Cooper was inspired to help establish the shelter nearly a decade ago after finding an injured bird.
SYL COOPER: At the time, nobody seemed to know very much about native animals. I rang some vets, I rang the RSPCA thinking it was the place to ring, and nobody seemed to know anything.
DIANNE BAIN: Now caring for the animals nobody wants is Syl's life.
SYL COOPER: Once you start doing it, it's an addiction. You learn to love them. It's a privilege to come down and work here.
DIANNE BAIN: Syl's passion is contagious. Today more than 70 animal lovers dedicate thousands of hours to nursing and rearing injured wildlife, but now it's the Darling Range shelter itself that is under threat. It has been issued with a notice to move on.
MICHELLE HAZELWOOD: Initially, we were advised eight weeks ago that we would need to relocate and we have tried during that time to negotiate some extension.
DIANNE BAIN: For nearly a decade, the sanctuary has been on a small patch of land owned by the Cohunu Wildlife Park, but with the rising cost of insurance, the park can no longer afford to house the animals. A new site for the shelter has been found at Gosnells; but with about 80 kangaroos and more coming in all the time, volunteers are worried that the animals will be put at risk.
MICHELLE HAZELWOOD: We're happy with the actual site, but it doesn't have the infrastructure that we require: we require fox-proof fencing and a building from which to base ourselves.
DIANNE BAIN: Then there is the issue of money. The not-for-profit group estimates it will need about $30,000 to relocate - money it just doesn't have.
The shelter has less than two weeks grace to move. When time runs out for the animal sanctuary, the owner of the Cohunu Wildlife Park next door said he will help to feed the existing kangaroos. Although the prospect of a new animal haven is unclear, the unwavering commitment of the volunteers remains strong.
MICHELLE HAZELWOOD: Without them, I'm not sure where wildlife would be taken to be treated. Wildlife is not owned by people and the local vet is not wanting to be treating wildlife. There's no fee involved; it's really just a community service.
more information: build
To inspire is to give someone an idea or to make them feel that they can achieve something. Syl was inspired after she found the injured bird, she suddenly had a good idea and believed she could make it happen.
start; set up
A shelter is a safe place.
The word addiction is usually used in reference to drugs. It describes the condition of having an uncontrollable need for something.
A privilege is an opportunity to do something special or enjoyable.
Passion refers to a strong feeling or love for something.
If something is contagious, it is easily spread from one person to another. Sylís love for working with injured animals spreads to other people.
Rearing means taking care of young animals or children until they are old enough to take care of themselves.
Wildlife refers to native animals of an area.
The Darling Range Wildlife Shelter is located in the Perth Hills, in Western Australia.
Something that is under threat is in danger of being closed.
To relocate means to move to a new place.
To negotiate is to try to reach an agreement through discussions.
An extension refers to an increase in something. In this case, itís an increase in the amount of time allowed before the shelter has to move.
Notice that when the word house is used as a verb it's poronounced in a different way than when it's used as a noun. Follow the link and listen to the difference.
more information: house
Infrastructure refers to the basic services and equipment needed to function.
The suffix -proof means that something is protected from, or not damaged by a certain thing. In this case, they need a fox-proof fence. Thatís a fence that stops foxes from getting in.
more information: take†