Tasmanian wildlife to benefit from extra expert care

Injured, sick, or orphaned Tasmanian wildlife have been given a greater chance at life back in the wild with expert veterinary care now available seven days a week.

IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) has provided critical resources for an additional veterinarian and veterinary nurse at Bonorong Wildlife Hospital to increase its operating hours to seven days a week.

This critical support means wildlife can receive immediate and potentially life-saving treatment—no matter the day of the week.

“Seriously injured wildlife cannot afford to wait to receive medical attention. For the best chances of survival and ultimately, life back in the wild, they need immediate specialised care,” IFAW Animal Rescue Officer Robert Leach said.

“Tasmania is home to some of Australia’s most unique wildlife—but it is also infamously known as the roadkill capital of the world. Every bit of support helps injured animals receive the care they need ensuring Tasmania’s wildlife thrives into the future.

Bonorong Wildlife Hospital is the state’s first and largest wildlife-only hospital. With support from IFAW, it opened its doors in 2018, and the clinic has been operating five days a week. The specialist IFAW vet team at Bonorong sees about 120 animals a week–with most sick, injured, or orphaned as a result of human activities. This includes car collisions and entanglement with fishing lines, six-pack rings, bird netting, and string.

A recent case admitted to the hospital was Fern, a critically endangered swift parrot. She was found by a member of the public after flying into a window and was taken to Bonorong Wildlife Hospital and assessed by the IFAW vet team straight away.

After a thorough assessment including a flight test, physical exam, x-rays, and a blood test, the team concluded that she suffered from bruising and a concussion. Fern made a full recovery under the care of the IFAW vet team at Bonorong and was released back to the wild.

“This was a huge relief given the species’ critically endangered status,” Bonorong Wildlife Hospital Manager Petra Harris said.

“We are incredibly thankful to the amazing team at IFAW for continuing to support our wildlife hospital and sanctuary. These additional veterinary hours will have a positive impact for wildlife patients in need and will further increase their chances of survival, particularly those suffering from time critical injuries.”

“It is incredibly exciting to launch this seven-day coverage. Our Wildlife Rescue Hotline operates 24/7, which means we have wildlife rescue patients being dropped in every day of the week. To know that wildlife can now get the veterinary help they need on any given day has been a dream of ours for some time now and we thank IFAW again for making this possible.”

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