Wildlife shelter seeks new home


Time’s almost up: Brenda Marmion has until April to find a sanctuary for her injured charges. Picture: Gary Sissons

THE future is bleak for injured and displaced wildlife on the Mornington Peninsula, with Crystal Ocean Wildlife Shelter carer Brenda Marmion being forced to find a new home.

The dedicated carer, who has been looking after distressed wildlife for the past 30 years, was recently asked to vacate her Golf Parade, Rye, rental property by April.

This gives her four months to find a suitable base “somewhere on the peninsula” that will allow her to temporarily house and rehabilitate wildlife. She said she had good references.

Ms Marmion, 74, said she was beginning to feel the pressure of finding a larger property at a reasonable rent that would provide suitable accommodation for her injured and ill charges.

“I suppose not everyone would like me living in their house but I always do improvements and always pay my rent on time,” she said.

“Of course, I would love acreage but it’s not often you would find a cottage on acreage for rent. I really just need some place with a big garden.”

Presented with a Good Neighbour Award last year and nominated for Australian of the Year in 2016, Ms Marmion said it was “always hell moving house”.

“We will need a convoy when the time comes,” she said. “We needed a convoy when we moved here from Dromana four years ago and we probably have more items, such as aviaries, to move this time.”

Friend and supporter Roslyn Browning said the next closest shelter to Crystal Ocean was at Tyabb. “At any one time the shelter can have around 30 animals to rehabilitate,” Ms Browning said.

“[Caring for them is a] huge task for Brenda who is living on the aged pension, paying rent and who is in poor health.

“She is absolutely dedicated to looking after injured wildlife and is very well regarded by rescuers and all the vets on the southern peninsula.

“The need to move has added to Brenda’s anxiety around finances and her health problems.”

Crystal Ocean Wildlife Shelter is registered with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. It receives no government funding.

Volunteers are always needed to assist to “share the burden”, said Ms Browning, adding that vets in Rye, Rosebud and Dromana frequently call on Ms Marmion to help with injured wildlife.

“Last Saturday I organised a fundraiser at Rosebud which was reasonably successful,” she said. “I have other activities planned to support Brenda and the wildlife.”

The women said volunteers would be needed at the Golf Parade shelter on moving day. Those interested can visit the Facebook page and donate on the attachment.

“Brenda is struggling to meet the running costs of her shelter and she welcomes any donations of help she can get.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 16 January 2018


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