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Sydney businessman’s campaign to feed kangaroo bushfire survivors

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A few weeks ago, Marcus St Vincent was running a multi-national electrical company in Sydney.

A few weeks ago, Marcus St Vincent was running a multi-national electrical company in Sydney.

The closest he'd come to wildlife were the family pugs at his home in Richmond.

Now he's delivering bales of hay for kangaroos which survived the bushfires that swept through large swathes of New South Wales.

The 47-year-old managing director said he has been frustrated to see kangaroos which appeared to be too weak to hop when he drove to the fire-hit Wombeyan Caves National Park area near Bowral, two hours south of Sydney.

Mr St Vincent said a mob of about 60 starving kangaroos lay nearby on the bare grass at the reserve in the Southern Highlands last week when he visited.

He said staff told him they'd asked for food for them, but told him they had been given nothing from National Parks bosses.

"The guys said they were so hungry they were waiting for a leaf to drop from the poplar tree and eating it," Mr St Vincent said.

"They were in a very poor state.

"Many were severely emaciated and clearly starving. When I first arrived they would hop, fall over, get up, hop again and fall over."

National Parks and Wildlife told they are feeding "key populations", including at that park, adding feeding "needs to be carefully considered, coordinated and implemented to minimise any risks, such as nutritional issues or attracting predators."

Meanwhile, Mr St Vincent has launched a campaign to feed those animals and help many others.

The grandfather-of-two immediately bought six massive bales of hay and has since returned with more.

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He's even got the local four-wheel drive club on board to help, and is also working with a couple who run a wildlife sanctuary in the area to fill their dam with water and set up more food stations.

Mr St Vincent's campaign started at the Seven Hills office of his Swedish firm CEJN, which was fundraising for the fire crisis.

But he wanted to do more.

Along with wife Jennifer, he started gathering money and supplies and handed it out to wildlife carers on the ground.

He has spent more than $12,000 of his own money, but also has a donation page, and is using his business know-how to get what he needs.

In one week he drove 5000km, and has joined Facebook to find out where help is needed.

The father-of-two is working with Facebook group Animal Rescue Collective as well as Southern Highland Wildlife Food Co-operative and Shoalhaven Bat Clinic and Sanctuary, and said he's now found his 'tribe'

"This is where I have longed to belong all my life," he said.

"I will go as far as I can. There's no better cause."

National Parks and Wildlife Service said people who want to help wildlife should contact their local wildlife carers group.

"It is important to note however that access to areas recently affected by fire can be very hazardous so it is essential that the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) considers this risk before access for wildlife feeding can be approved," it said in a statement.

Food drops for animals in Victoria's decimated national parks started last week, after campaigns including from the Australian Veterinary Association.

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The feeding flights are dropping special macropod pellets prepared by Zoos Victoria.

Endangered rock wallabies are also being fed from the air in NSW.

Source: 9News

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