Treating patients at our AZ Wildlife Hospital

Sep 13, 2012

A Busy Time Ahead

Little Oliver keeping nice and warm in his pouch
Little Oliver keeping nice and warm in his pouch

Hello again to our wonderful supporters!

As always, we are all systems go at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. We are well and truely into mammal breeding season meaning there is little time for rest and relaxation. This is the time of year when our national icon - the koala - does it the toughest.

Our last update let you know just how many koalas came in last year with injuries from roadside accidents and domestic pet attacks. This year is no different. At the present time we have almost 80 koalas in care in our outside enclosures, and that's not including the koalas in our full to the brim mammals intensive care unit!

From the start this year up until the end of August we have seen 474 koalas through our doors, with 91 of those in August alone. Of those 91 koalas 26 were hit by vehicles and 12 were attacked by domestic pets. If last year was any indication the trauma season for our furry friends is far from over and our vets and nurses are preparing for a busy road ahead.

We have had several koalas with joeys come through and even a joey or two on their own - including Oliver (in one of our pictures). Oliver was found at the base of a tree in Amity Point with his mother in the tree above. He was very lucky someone found him and managed to get him to the hospital. At only 280grams he was estimated at around 5 months old. Koalas only start to develop their fur at around 4 months of age and in Oliver's case, he would still be pouch-bound.

Dr Robyn, the vet treating Oliver, thinks he may have fallen while mum was moving around, or she may have accidentally kicked him out. Upon assessment, she found he was dehydrated and suffering from a chest infection. He was given fluids and antibiotics and was put into a nice warm pouch inside a humidicrib. His chest infection cleared and he has now been transferred to a registered wildlife carer.

It is so important for people to bring little babies like Oliver straight in for veterinary assessment, especially if they are found on their own. If ever someone accidentally hits an animal while driving, please stop. You never know what kind of pain or internal injuries it may be suffereing. Keep a towel and a cardboard box in the back of your car, and even if you weren't the one to hit it, it is important to stop and check. In Australia, some of our mammals have pouches which help protect their young. This pouch may protect the baby from any serious damage in a vehicle accident. Even if the female is deceased she may still have young that have survived the initial trauma - it always pays to stop and check. You could be the difference between life and death for this animal.

The patients that come through our doors need all the help they can get and your generous donations and support give little guys like Oliver (and the beautiful big ones too) a fighting chance to get back out where they belong...... enjoying life in the wild!

Thank you again for all of your help. We wouldn't be able to continue our mission to save our wildlife without it.


Yours in conservation

Nurse Lee monitoring a koala during a check-up
Nurse Lee monitoring a koala during a check-up
A koala under anaesthetic while getting assessed
A koala under anaesthetic while getting assessed



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Project Leader

Michelle Burgum

Beerwah, Queensland Australia

Where is this project located?

Map of Treating patients at our AZ Wildlife Hospital