A dream come true - South Australia's first koala hospital

A couple of the hospital’s patientsI’ve just returned from attending the launch of South Australia's first-ever koala hospital.

The hospital is the realisation of a long-held dream of committed wildlife rescuer Rae Campbell and her late husband Warren.

Rae has been the koala coordinator for Fauna Rescue SA for many years, rescuing and rehabilitating these defenseless animals that are under constant threat from habitat loss, car collisions, dog attacks, disease and bushfires.

Luckily local veterinarian and wildlife lover Phil Hutt shared Rae's vision for a dedicated koala and wildlife hospital and together they have worked tirelessly over several years to make this vision a reality.

With carers under constant stress by the sheer number of orphaned and injured koalas they were receiving- and veterinary care  not always coming cheap, the hospital’s opening will be hugely beneficial to all involved in caring for injured koalas – and to the koalas themselves of course!.

When IFAW heard about the hospital, a grant was quickly organised to help purchase rehabilitation cages and food for the wildlife patients.

Since opening its doors little over a month ago, staff at the hospital have treated over 100 koalas. Many koalas have suffered devastating effects of the recent heat wave, dehydration; leading to renal failure has been all too common.  The team have also treated injuries relating to dog attacks and car accidents.

This wonderful hospital doesn’t just limit treatment to koalas, but extends its care, rehabilitation and release services to other native animals.

When I visited the hospital, Phil alerted me to a young orphaned koala named Goldie, who had been receiving treatment because his mother had rejected him.   I was even lucky enough to help give Goldie his regular feed of milk through a syringe. He was very hungry and kept asking for more!

If caring and rehabilitating injured wildlife wasn’t enough, Phil and Rae realise that education and awareness is vital in helping to protect our wildlife in the long-term, so they work with schools, vet students and the public to teach them about the importance of securing a future for Australian wildlife.

If you feel inspired to find a way to help our vulnerable wildlife - just the smallest of actions could save lives. Here are our top tips to help save our wildlife:

  • Always keep an eye out for injured wildlife.
  • Call your nearest wildlife rescue organisation if you do come across an animal in need.
  • Alternatively, when driving always have a spare bottle of water and blanket in the boot of your car – a value tool to help keep an injured animal safe and secure when transporting it to a carer or vet.
  • If you come across a dead animal, remember to check its pouch for joeys, as they could have survived.
  • If you have pets, remember to keep them secure at night as pets are responsible for many injuries every year.

IFAW is proud to support Rae, Phil and the team’s amazing work to help save and protect our wildlife.  Congratulations to you, our wonderful supporters who help make our partners dreams a reality.

--JS

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