Many of the Association’s New Zealand and Australian member institutions operate wildlife rehabilitation hospitals where injured, orphaned and sick wildlife can be brought by the public for treatment. The vets, nurses and keepers at these wildlife hospitals treat a wide range of species, from frogs, lizards and bats to koalas, possums, falcons, kiwi, wombats and seals.
Member zoos and fauna parks with wildlife rehabilitation hospitals include:
Adelaide Zoo, Auckland Zoo, Australia Zoo, Currumbin Sanctuary, Healesville Sanctuary, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo, Perth Zoo, Taronga Conservation Society, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Territory Wildlife Park and Wellington Zoo. Between them, these institutions receive and treat an estimated 19,000 wildlife cases a year.
Most of the injured and orphaned wild animals that are brought to rehabilitation hospitals are in need of care because of the impacts of humans, our pets, and our activities on the environment. Typical cases include: an orphaned eastern grey kangaroo joey whose mother has been hit on the road by a motor vehicle; a fledgling magpie who has been attacked by a pet dog; an eastern long-necked tortoise with a fractured shell; and a native frog accidently transported in a box of bananas going to market. A seal on a local beach may need treatment for fishing net entanglement and a rescued marine turtle may require surgery for plastic bag ingestion and intestinal obstruction. An albatross may have a fish hook, discarded by a careless fisherman, embedded in its beak. Many cases can be successfully treated and released to the wild, although medical care and careful rehabilitation to the wild may take weeks or even months. In some cases, humane euthanasia is the kindest option, if the animal’s injuries are so severe that it cannot be expected to return to a wild existence.