An Australian man Brett Hadden and his 60 sled dogs have been stranded in a Victorian fire zone as Hadden refused to evacuate from bushfire area until his dogs can also be evacuated. According to international media reports, the military revealed that they wouldn't be able to take the animals to safety and as a result, Hadden has been camping in a sleeping bag with his dogs until help can come. The helicopters have been able to rescue around 50 people from the Omeo region, however, some 300 people have still chosen to stay in the area and also overnight rain on January 5 provided some relief.
While speaking to an international media outlet, Hadden said that he would love to evacuate, but he can not just abandon his dogs after working with them for so many years. Hadden and his huskies fled their property at Cobunga over the weekend to shelter at the showgrounds in Omeo. He further also explained how the fire front swept through the region over the weekend but thankfully his home is still standing.
While Hadden is trying to save his dogs from the wild bushfire, the staff at the Mogo Zoo have also been working since New Year's Eve to ensure that all animals would be safe from the encroaching fire. As the blaze from the New South Wales south coast has already decimated the local area, it was now heading directly for the animal facility. However, all precautionary measures were put in place before the bushfire warning was even released.
The staff at the zoo was also helped by the former federal MP Emma Husar, who set up a GoFundMe for the zoo. According to international media reports, the funding page was able to raise approximately $30,000, which has been used to buy a generator, water, firefighting pump and animal food. While speaking to an international media outlet, the zoo director, Chad Staples said that they have been overwhelmed by the support but their hard work to get more than 200 exotic animals safe isn't over.
According to reports, the zoo started putting water everywhere they could to wet everything that could become fuel. Lions, tigers, gorillas, orangutans were also sent into their night dens to keep them calm, while giraffe and zebra stayed in their paddocks, however, the zoo provided them access to everywhere so they could decide where to go.