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World's Largest Wildlife Hospital

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Published on Oct 11, 2010

Growing development and the loss of natural habitat is having a devastating effect on the wildlife in many regions. To try and counteract some of the damage, passionate staff and volunteers in Australia, work tirelessly at the world's largest wildlife hospital.

Dedicated to helping sick, injured and orphaned animals, the Australian Wildlife Hospital is the largest of it's kind in the world. Located in Queensland, it's an establishment where every single creature counts. Hence their motto.

[Gail Gipp, General Manager, Australian Wildlife Hospital]:
"Save one, save the species."

Established in 2002 by the man known as "Crocodile Hunter" the late Steve Irwin, and wife Terri.

The inspiration was the vision of Steve's mother Lyn Irwin, a pioneer in wildlife care. The hospital relies heavily on the support of dedicated volunteers.

[Gail Gipp, General Manager Australian Wildlife Hospital]:
"We look after them really well. And they're the backbone of the organization and we couldn't operate without them."

Now treating up to 7000 animals a year, most are victims of land clearing, road accidents and attacks by domestic pets.

[Pauline Brookman, Vet Nurse, Australian Wildlife Hospital]:
"This is Buster; he's a male koala ... and he had severe injuries down this side of the body. So he's had a fractured leg."

To cope with the increasing number of animals needing care, and to make sure that none suffer unnecessarily, staff are on call 24/7.

[Pauline Brookman, Vet Nurse, Australian Wildlife Hospital]:
"If the Australian Wildlife Hospital wasn't here, they would be on the side of the road without the rescue teams, without the carers, without the nurses and the vets. It's just so badly needed, and we do the best we can."

Mrs Gipp believes that educating the public is vital. For example the rings on the top of many plastic bottles are dangerous to animals. They get caught around their necks, causing terrible pain and in some cases, death. The fix?, cut them before throwing them away.

A little care is a great start, and a common thread amongst staff and volunteers.The species in these parts, are surely singing praises for the folks at TheAustralian Wildlife Hospital.

Robert Apicella, NTD, Sunshine Coast, Australia

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