Fresh hope for sick and injured native wildlife as new rehabilitation facilities
There is fresh hope for sick, injured, orphaned or displaced native wildlife on the Sunshine Coast following the opening of new marine turtle and bird rehabilitation facilities at Australian Zoo Wildlife Hospital today. The new facilities were funded by a 2018 Federal Government grant of $250,000 under the Liberal National Government’s $24 million Improving Your Local Parks and Environment Program.
At the official opening Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that the much-needed new facilities would improve patients’ recovery journeys, and give staff and volunteers more time to rescue, rehabilitate and release additional birds and animals.
Andrew Wallace said “Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital provides a lifeline for our iconic and critical local wildlife, and I am proud to see the fantastic results of this Federal Government funding. Our natural environment is one of the Sunshine Coast’s most important assets and the Liberal National Government recognises that we must work hard to preserve it.”
The new facilities include two large turtle recovery pools and several smaller ones with the latest filtration and heating equipment inside a purpose-built building. Recovery tanks for sea snakes have been constructed for the first time as well as improved facilities for birds and viewing platforms for the public to see the Vet and Vet Nurses’ great work. The funding also helped to pay for new industrial grade washing machines which operate 24 hours a day at the hospital, as well as flood mitigation measures to allow staff to spend more time with animals and less on cleaning and maintenance.
Dr Rosie Booth, Director of Australia Zoo Wildlife hospital said that they were seeing more and more marine turtles affected by human activity every year.
“We constantly need help from the public and the government to fund this important work. We are conserving biodiversity here, and we need all of our wildlife species to keep a healthy planet. We’re very grateful for this funding from the Federal Government, which has allowed us to build a truly state of the art turtle facility.” Dr Booth said.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital treats up to 400 marine turtles a year at present, ranging from 10g to 150kg in weight. Throughout their rehabilitation, turtles must be separated to prevent the spread of disease and require the complex combination of shallow and deep, fresh and saltwater pools which are provided in this upgraded facility.
Mr Wallace said “In my first speech in Parliament I spoke about our responsibility to ensure that the environment is maintained and protected for future generations, and I remain committed to doing what I can to help. Strong economic management has allowed the Liberal National Government to invest in projects to preserve our local environment all over the Sunshine Coast, and I will be fighting for more in the future.”
More information about the Improving Your Local Parks and Environment program can be found at https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/improving-your-local-parks-and-environment