Thursday, September 22, 2011

$8m wombat bequest being fought by family

An American man's bequest of $8 million for an Australian volunteer wombat rescue programme may never reach the programme. Brigitte Stevens from the Wombat Awareness Organisation says the man's family is contesting the donation he made in his will. She says the volunteer organisation working in the Murraylands of South Australia has been told it is likely it may never receive the money.

Ms Stevens says the group does not have the finances to take the matter to court. "It may take five or 10 years and I guess our main concern is that everyone thinks that we've got the money and all of the donations have stopped coming into the organisation," she said. "We've still got the same amount of animals coming into care and we're desperate for help."

A mystery skin condition is claiming the lives of hundreds of southern hairy-nosed wombats in the region. The Wombat Awareness Organisation says monitoring has found about 95 per cent of the wombats have symptoms including fur loss and emaciation. Ms Stevens says the animals may be eating a toxic fungus and it can lead to organ failure.

YouTube link.

"No-one's ever seen anything like it, there's just so many dying we don't know what to do," she said. "The only thing that we can do is actually catch each and every single wombat and get tests done like echocardiograms and blood tests to see whether or not they're in any kind of organ failure."

No comments: