On Sunday 28 August, more than thirty representatives from local conservation groups took part in a workshop to learn about the best way to help injured or sick wildlife. The event was organised by the Department of Conservation (DOC), with support from Wellington Zoo and Wellington SPCA.
Led by Wellington Zoo’s Senior Veterinarian Dr Baukje Lenting, participants in the workshop were shown how to handle and give basic first aid to injured wildlife, including native bird species.
“Wellington is home to many native bird species and until now, there has been a lot of confusion around what to do and who to contact when a member of the community discovers an injured or sick bird,” said Jenny Lynch, Conservation Manager at Wellington Zoo.
“Due to the nature of their work, local restoration and conservation groups are more likely to discover injured or sick birds in the wild,” said Jenny. “This workshop was a great way to educate our local conservation groups on how to properly handle a sick or injured bird and even provide basic avian first aid.”
The Nest Te Kōhanga, Wellington Zoo’s animal hospital and centre for native wildlife, has treated over 430 native wildlife patients in the last year.
“Native species make up at least 70% of our patients at The Nest Te Kōhanga, and these patients are typically brought to us by the SPCA, DOC, or local members of the community,” said Jenny. “By sharing our skills with other conservation agencies, we can make sure injured wildlife receive care as quickly as possible – meaning we can return more native patients to the wild.”
What to do if you find injured wildlife
If you spot a sick or injured native species, please call the Department of Conservation (DOC) in the first instance on 0800 362 468.
If DOC suggests the animal requires treatment, please bring the injured native animal to the Zoo’s front entrance.
For non-native species, call the Wellington SPCA on (04) 389 8044 to find out ways that you can help.
About Wellington Zoo
Wellington Zoo is New Zealand’s first Zoo, established in 1906, and is Wellington’s oldest conservation organisation. Home to over 500 native and exotic animals, Wellington Zoo became a charitable trust in 2003.
Wellington Zoo became the world’s first carboNZero certified zoo in May 2013.
Wellington Zoo is an accredited member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia and a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
For more information please contact Marketing & Communications Advisor, Ash Howell, on 64 4 803 8269 or 64 (0) 21 227 8269.