Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital accused of animal mistreatment and declining standards

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3.-Australia-ZooThe Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital has come under fire recently amid reports of animal mistreatment from underqualified new staff. Sources report that 12 staff have left over the last six months with one member being told to leave mid-operation.

Queensland Health was alerted by staffers and audited the hospital, uncovering five non-compliance areas, as well as unqualified and underqualified staff administering medicines beyond their accreditation levels.

Reports claim inexperienced staffers may have lead to several of the hospital’s recent mishaps, including a koala’s broken bones and medicine dispensed into the windpipe rather than the throat of a bird.

The hospital is now down to one full-time vet and the number of vet nurses has been halved. The new recruits are reported to have come from as far afield as call centre work and shoe sales. With limited existing staff available to train them, some have lasted only a few days in this tough environment.

Australia Zoo’s director, Wes Mannion, has disputed these claims. “As you raise the bar in any area and add change, people often don’t like that and move on,” he told the Courier Mail. “We’ve got nothing to hide and we never have done. That’s a disgruntled employee’s opinion.”

Yet wildlife carers are too concerned to send sick animals to the hospital and note that letters of concern sent to Terri Irwin, the Wildlife Hospital’s director, have been ignored. The well respected Dr Claude Lacasse has also left the hospital allegedly due to the declining standards.

 

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