From the news desk

Assist animals escaping Cape blaze: Four Paws

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The devastating fire that has engulfed large parts of the South Peninsula since Sunday is reportedly having an untold effect on wildlife in the affected areas. Because of the rapidness in which the blaze has spread, many animals have succumbed to serious burns, smoke inhalation and overheating.

Thousands more have also been displaced, and have since begun making their way into suburban areas in a bid to escape the fire. With this in mind, local animal welfare group, Four Paws has embarked on an awareness campaign to promote public assistance to those animals in need.

“What we’ve been informing the public about is that should they find or come across small creatures in their garden, that they just ensure that there is water available for them,” explained country manager, Fiona Miles.

She also noted that in the case of those reluctant to interact with the animal, it was advisable to contact Four Paws or the SPCA, who would personally come out to evaluate and assist the animals.

She stressed that regardless of public concern, it was imperative community members not actively go out to the mountainous areas to search for animals in need of rescue, as this would likely put their own lives at risk.

“Our emergency services are still in the area, there are still pockets of dangerous places, and it is not wise for the public to be walking around in those areas,” she warned.

With a substantial amount of small animals and birds having migrated towards suburban areas, this may also lead to an increase in snake sightings, including that of Cape Cobras. But whilst many would be fearful of such encounters, Miles said it was important that people not panic.

“What they should do is find and identify where the animal is in their garden, and then make the call. People who know what they’re doing and are willing to respond will definitely be there (to assist). The interest is for the animal,” she said.

Those seeking assistance may contact the SPCA’s wildlife unit on the number 021 700 4158/4159, or after hours at 083 326 1604. Alternatively you may also contact Four Paws at 021 702 4277. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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