JESSICA TANA BANKOFF
Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre was once a small time animal hospital run from the backyard of a caring couple.
But now it’s found a new lease on life with a $1.5 million grant from Lottery West.
Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre was originally set up behind June and Lloyd Butcher’s property at Gooseberry Hill on the Darling Scarp just East of Perth.
They called the land ‘Kanyana’ after the Aboriginal word, meaning ‘gathering place’.
June was a dedicated nurse and tenacious animal lover and started to take in injured animals from around the area.
Housing developments and general human interaction with the native animals was having a devastating effect upon them.
June saw the need and so Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre was born.
The centre’s small hospital (a shed next to the house) is home to a successful bilby breeding program.
And with an array of aviaries Kanyana is managing to care for more than 1,800 animals a year.
As the number of these animals begins to increase it’s become obvious the Butcher’s 1.2 hectare property will not do.
“We currently only have a bedroom and a bathroom to ourselves – the rest of our house has gradually become an extension of the animal hospital,” says June.
“It was becoming increasingly clear that we desperately needed larger premises.”
In order to find a larger block of land the Butchers approached Lottery West, which had helped them to purchase various pieces of equipment for the centre over the years.
With a $1.5 million grant, June has been able to fit out and alter an old girl guide’s camp backing on to a national park in Lesmurdie.
“The new site is really a dream come true. We will be able to offer better care to the animals and work in a suitable, rather than make-do, environment,” says June.
Over 100 volunteers work for the centre in three shifts every day.
Larger animals, needing around-the-clock help are taken to local carers while smaller animals like lizards, snakes, echidnas, bilbies, birds and marsupials have all been given spacious new rehabilitation environments.
There’s now a sound-proof animal hospital, an appropriate captive breeding area, an education building lined with birds nests, skulls and bottled animal foetuses and a small garden next to the reception which is dedicated to Lloyd, who passed away.
The staff at Kanyana say the new buildings and spacious atmosphere means they can give these native animals the care they deserve.