Helping out one stitch at a time

Kirsty Falkenberg is sewing pouches to assist wildlife carers who have been inundated with baby animals orphaned as a result of the bushfires burning around the country.

As bushfires continue to ravage through Kangaroo Island and the eastern states, one Nuriootpa midwife is calling on Barossa’s crafting community to help save orphaned wildlife  – one stitch at a time.

Kirsty Falkenberg has been a wildlife carer for close to 25 years and after seeing television footage of the devastation decided she needed to do something to help.

She put a call out on social media to see if anyone had any fabric she could sew into pouches for baby animals orphaned as a result of the fires.

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“I wondered if people had anything to donate, even if it was some old sheets….cotton, windcheater fabric, flannelette is great,” Kirsty said.

“I thought I would get a few bags full but now I’ve got half a room full!” laughed Kirsty.

With more than enough to keep her busy, Kirsty is now encouraging others to get involved in the cause.

“Others have said they are happy to help and I’ve sent them a pattern – the pouches are fairly easy to sew.

“One lady is with the Scouts and she said they want to help too so I’ve given her a heap of fabric so they can sew and be involved. 

“They can bring the pouches back to me and I’ll send them on to wherever they are needed.”

Kirsty said caring for wildlife is very specialised and should be left to those who have the time and expertise.

“It is not easy, they need a lot of care… If you do find an animal, it’s best to get in contact with Fauna Rescue.”

Kirsty is happy for people to phone her on 0448 383 524 for more information about how to sew the soft lined bags for wildlife carers who will be working extra hard in the wake of the fires.

“Watching the news and seeing people standing on the beach with horses and dogs watching their houses burn down is just horrendous,” said Kirsty.

“Some carers have lost everything in the fires and they are still looking after joeys. Whether it be in Victoria, New South Wales or Kangaroo Island.

“And Cuddlee Creek too, there will be so many animals there. Kangaroos that are beyond helping, even koalas and possums that might have to be euthanised…they’ll have little babies that will need looking after.”

Kirsty has made many contacts across the country, including a woman at Kangaroo Island who has been inundated with orphaned animals needing various sized bags to mimic their mother’s pouch.

“A lot of people have lost houses over there and she has become the go-to person… I’ve got her address and I’ll just post them out to
her,” she said.

In Kirsty’s experience, wildlife carers can never have too many pouches and that’s why she’s keen to lend a hand.

“Sewing is a way I can help without having the actual wildlife here at home,” Kirsty
said.

“There are lots of people who would do a 100 per cent better job of caring for the sick and burnt wildlife, vet nurses and all sorts of qualified people… I’ll leave that to them. But making pouches and sending them where they are needed, that’s my
contribution.”