A community fundraiser has been started for an elderly couple from Jimboomba who work around the clock to care for sick and injured wildlife.
Nearly $1,000 has been raised to assist the efforts of Bob and Maureen Wiley, who have been caring for sick and injured wildlife in the area since moving there in 2005.
So far 23 people have donated $995 to ‘The Wiley Fund’ on GoFundMe.
Mr Wiley, who first started caring for wildlife as a child, was shocked when he got word of the fundraiser early March.
“They’re naughty people,” he says, laughing.
“I’m humbled by it, I am, we both are, we do it because we want to do it, it’s not because we have to, and that’s it.”
The Wiley Fund’s organiser, Jo Cathryn, writes on the fundraiser website that donations will go to items such as bird cages, enclosures, and animal food.
The Wileys usually have 30 animals with them at any given time and care for the animals 24 hours a day.
“I do my best with the vets I use, and spend nearly 24 hours a day looking after them all, like I don’t have a patio – that’s chock-a-block full of cages, I don’t have a dining room, that’s chock-a-block full of cages,” Mr Wiley says.
He adds that they get occasional support from council grants, but most of the time they dip into their personal finances and aged pension to make it work.
Putting costs in perspective, Mr Wiley says he spends hundreds of dollars per animal on feed alone.
Food for the raptors, for example, costs hundreds of dollars a month.
“They’re meat eaters, so I buy frozen rats, and they’re $1.20 each, just for a little small rat, and I get hundreds of them at a time, and that’ll last a month, sometimes even less depending on how many raptors I get in,” he says.
For more information and to contribute to the Wiley’s cause, go to https://au.gofundme.com/f/the-wiley-fund