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293 Native Animals Treated Since Wildlife Hospital Opened January 2018 In Dunedin

Wildlife Hospital Dunedin - Activity Report - 15th January 2018 to 15th August 2018


The Wildlife Hospital Dunedin is a veterinary facility specializing in the treatment of native species. It is based at the Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing. Services include admitting sick and injured animals, diagnosis and triage, treatment (including surgery or euthanasia as necessary), hospitalization and (post-operative) recovery, and working to ensure successful rehabilitation and/or release back to the native environment. It also works closely with others to ensure recovery networks for sick and injured wildlife continue to grow. Treatment is not limited to the hospital’s premises; depending on the needs of the animal and the practicality of transportation (e.g. sea lions), this may be conducted on location.

© Christine O'Conner, Otago Daily Times

Activities since opening doors on 15th January

  • We have admitted 293 Native Wildlife Patients

  • We have seen 31 different species of birds, 1 species of reptile and 1 species of Mammal.

  • 91 patients have a DOC threat classification of Threatened (nationally vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered) = 33.21% of total admissions

  • 81 patients were classified as Endangered or Critically Endangered

  • 66 patients have a DOC threat classification of At Risk (declining, recovering, naturally uncommon)

  • We have admitted 75 endangered yellow-eyed penguins (YEPs) (est 11-13% of mainland population)

  • Success rate for rehabilitation/release of YEPs = 86.8%

  • Our overall release/rehabilitation success rate for all species = 81.57%

33% of animals treated have been threatened species

Animals treated by species summary

Training and Education

One of our core strategic intents is to provide educational opportunities for veterinarians and veterinary nurses both undergraduate and qualified. We are excited to start the first Avian and Wildlife Health Internship Training Course in New Zealand. This 1 year training course is to provide Veterinarians with the opportunity to spend a year training in avian and wildlife health so that they can return to general practice with the confidence and skills to treat this unique group of animals. Ultimately the wildlife and captive birds of NZ will benefit from more capable vets being out in general practice able to provide veterinary care if and when it is needed. Our first intern will commence her year of training with us in November.

The Otago Polytechnic Veterinary nursing students are benefiting from having a Wildlife Hospital on their doorstep with students doing rotations through the hospital to learn about how to provide nursing care to some really diverse and unique species. These skills can be transferred to general practice where they can care for injured wildlife or assist with pet and aviary birds.

Dr Lisa Argilla, Founder & Vet, Wildlife Hospital


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