Belgian students bring wildlife care items to Kangaroo Island

Students from the Koninklijk Atheneum Zottegem middle school in Belgium visiting the Kangaroo Island Widlife Park. Photo Roz Miller
Students from the Koninklijk Atheneum Zottegem middle school in Belgium visiting the Kangaroo Island Widlife Park. Photo Roz Miller

A group of students from Belgium visited Kangaroo Island last week bringing with them care packages for bushfire affected wildlife.

There were 46 students between the ages of 15 and 17, and six adults including principal Barbara Fernndez of Koninklijk Atheneum Zottegem middle school.

We met at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, a fitting place for the occasion on Sunday.

Koninklijk Atheneum Zottegem middle school administator TIlly with Kangaroo Island local Roz Miller and donated wildlife pouches at the KI Wildlife Park.

Koninklijk Atheneum Zottegem middle school administator TIlly with Kangaroo Island local Roz Miller and donated wildlife pouches at the KI Wildlife Park.

They each brought a pouch/nest with them from Belgium arranged by Tilly, being the administrative secretary of the school.

Tilly arranged this gesture with a newly formed Facebook group in Belgium called Team Belgium for Australia, which began with a few hundred members on January 6 after recent bushfires.

How did this all happen?

The group started with around 200 members and grew to 30,000 within a week due to the media attention in Belgium.

I was invited to join the group after our friend's daughter added me. They began making pouches, nests and other related wildlife supplies for our rescued wildlife.

We have been fortunate to have donations of medical supplies and money arrive on KI too from Belgium FSPCA for Australia, a sister group. More medical supplies to arrive soon.

They have provided $50 vouchers to the value of $1000 through KI Kennels and Fodder to help live stock and wildlife that business owner Michelle Barrett has donated direct to those in need.

Meanwhile the newly formed group had contacted people who were taking a trip to Australia and one of those student's mother contacted Sarah who administrated the group.

So, Kangaroo Island has some of the first supplies that were completed.

Now they are sending 10,849 handcrafted pieces and will arrive on Thursday to shelters, wildlife centres and the like on the mainland all over Australia.

The students began their journey in Melbourne and due to the Ravine fire burning down their accommodation on Kangaroo Island they were unable to stay here for the two nights as planned.

They really enjoyed their one-day visit here and finished with a fun sand boarding experience at Little Sahara.

The students filled three bags with their gifts, which will be distributed through our local KI Wildlife Network.

Personally, I would love everyone on Kangaroo Island to have an emergency pack ready to go in their car with instructions on who to call for help.

We are overwhelmed by the incredible caring around the globe and we gratefully thank the students for carrying their gift personally to us and for the generosity of the Belgium people to Australia. - Roz Miller, Kingscote

Comments