As some Australians continue to panic-buy toilet paper and other essentials in bulk, it’s not just those in financially-vulnerable situations who are missing out.
A volunteer wildlife carer, who is looking after animals injured by the Australian bushfires, is warning recovering creatures are also in dire need of supplies.
Paper towel, tissues and toilet paper are just some of the items needed daily for wildlife carers to care for sick and injured animals.
And as supermarket shelves remain empty and deliveries are snapped up by people stockpiling goods, it’s yet another challenge for our vulnerable wildlife.
“To all the people that have taken all the toilet paper off the shelves can we have some please. We still have babies from the fires in care and we need toilet paper for these babies,” volunteer wildlife carer Toni Campbell Barnes, from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, posted on Facebook.
Ms Barnes explained toilet paper was used to teach orphaned animals how to go to the bathroom.
“What goes in must come out and we have to teach them how to do this,” she told Yahoo News Australia.
“Most mother animals will stimulate with their tongue, even mother dogs do this with their puppies. So us humans will use toilet paper/tissues anything that is soft.”
Ms Barnes also explained some carers would use toilet paper for baby bird nests when needed.
Even with supermarkets limiting the sale of toilet paper to four packs per transaction, some customers are still finding it hard to come by.
Ms Barnes volunteers with Sydney Wildlife Mobile Care Unit and when toilet paper is running low, the volunteers use baby wipes, cloths and paper towel – but it’s not ideal.
“Tissues are also out, baby wipes are getting low. The paper towel is nearly gone too, but it is a bit rough and we don’t need to cause other problems. Some people have turned to using Chux wipes, but that becomes expensive as it comes out of our pocket, the volunteer,” she said.
With the introduction of Woolworths limiting the sale of hand sanitiser to two bottles per transaction, that could also be an issue.
“We also use the hand sanitiser to keep the germs away too and that is very low,” Ms Barnes said.
When asked if Ms Barnes was also struggling to find toilet paper for herself, the selfless volunteer didn’t hesitate to point out how important her animals are.
“Stuff me, I can shower, animals always come first,” she said.
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