SAFE HAVEN: Tina Janssen cares for over 100 native animals at her wildlife sanctuary in Mount Larcom.
SAFE HAVEN: Tina Janssen cares for over 100 native animals at her wildlife sanctuary in Mount Larcom. Matt Taylor GLA060318WALL

100 little animals make for one big grocery bill

TINA JANSSEN has a full time job feeding 100 tiny mouths.

The manager of Safe Haven AACE (Australian Animals Care and Education) in Mt. Larcom has put out a call for donations of food to help her keep them fed.

"We're currently caring for 24 wombats, 45 bridled nail tail wallabies and 30 sugar and squirrel gliders," she said.

"But there's also birds, snakes and lizards but we grow our own food for them."

Tina's weekly shopping list for the animals is extensive.

"Everyday the wombats are fed 5kg of oats a 20 litre bucket of chopped sweet potato, 3 kg carrots and half a cob of corn," she said.

"The wallabies get lucerne chaff, carrots and apples and the gliders are fed soft fruits like bananas.


SAFE HAVEN: Sugar glider
SAFE HAVEN: Sugar glider


To help keep the animals fed Tina put out a call for Gladstone's shoppers to donate rolled oats.

"The cheap rolled oats are perfect, not the flavoured or quick oats though," she said.

"We have collection bins at Coles Kin Kora, and Tannum Sands and CQ Radiology at the Windmill Centre.

"But if it's hard for people to donate fresh fruit and veg, people are welcome to donate gift cards from Coles and Woolworths.

"Bunnings gift cards are welcome too because we've always got maintenance going on and need brooms and other bits and pieces.

"We can also do tax deductible receipts for anyone wanting to donate money, all the money goes to the animals."

Tina said fuel was another big expense for the sanctuary.

"Every fortnight we travel to Mortimer's farm in Bundaberg to pick up a few hundred kilo of donated sweet potato," she said.

My husband can spend up to three hours each day looking for fodder for the koalas in our care.

"He gets a few staked tyres while driving round in the bush looking for food.

"If anyone can help out with a fuel card that would also be a big help."

One of Tina's biggest needs is getting volunteers to help look after the animals.

"People interested in volunteering at the Safe Haven should contact us on Facebook or the AACE website," she said.

"We also do tours of the facility by appointment, usually in the afternoons so people can see what we're doing.

"It's hard work, but it's worth it," she said.