It’s December, a time to reflect on the year that was and consider everything achieved, challenges overcome and progression made. Zoos and aquariums across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have spent the last 12 months working tirelessly on saving threatened species, continuously improving animal welfare, breaking new ground in science, hitting sustainability targets, engaging the community around conservation and much more.
To give you a just a taste of all they do, here are some of the rescue highlights at Australasian zoos and aquariums this year:
Rescuing native wildlife
Australia Zoo hit a huge milestone with 80,000 patients treated at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital since the facility opened in 2004. This is a big achievement for wildlife conservation and it wouldn’t be possible without founders Terri and Steve Irwin. Over a twelve month period, between 6,000 and 8,000 animals are brought to the hospital for lifesaving treatment. Equipped with a surgical theatre, x-ray room, intensive care units and pathology lab, the dedicated group of wildlife veterinarians and nurses are able to provide specialised care to wildlife, at no cost to the public.
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium rescued and rehabilitated a green sea turtle, known as Terry, who was released back to the ocean. He spent seven months undergoing specialised rehabilitation at the Aquarium, in a program managed by the aquarium’s aquarists and veterinary team and made a full recovery. He was released back to the ocean on the Eastern coast of Victoria and fitted with a satellite tracker to monitor him in the wild.
Sea World were involved with two high-profile whale disentanglements off the Gold Coast during the annual migration period allowing the whales to continue their journey safe and unharmed. The park also opened their Sea Jellies Illuminated attraction, encouraging people to learn more about a marine species that don’t usually get much attention.