Australia’s largest mobile wildlife hospital has a permanent new home at The Macadamia Castle, a tourism attraction in Byron Bay’s hinterland, which has been sold to conservation group Wildlife Recovery Australia.
Wildlife Recovery Australia (WRA) is a joint venture of Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital and Odonata Foundation, combining resources to run mobile wildlife hospitals and build predator-proof sanctuaries. It is chaired by economist and passionate wildlife conservationist Dr Ken Henry AC.
“Wildlife Recovery Australia was created to fill gaps in the way Australia protects wildlife and acts to recover endangered species,” Dr Henry said.
“This is vital work at a critical time for Australian native animals. We’re excited and honoured to build on the animal welfare, conservation and education work done by the previous owners.”
Easily accessed and situated in the heart of a biodiversity hotspot, The Macadamia Castle is an ideal location for a wildlife hospital and WRA’s national headquarters.
The Macadamia Castle is a popular tourist attraction located on 2.7 hectares in Nyangbul Country, Ballina Shire. It features an animal park, and retail and hospitality services. Retiring to focus on health and family, owner-operator since 2007 Mr Tony Gilding said he was delighted to see WRA as the new owners.
“Their expertise in wildlife conservation is unparalleled. Our much-loved community-focused business will be in amazing hands as they lead The Macadamia Castle into a new era of wildlife education and conservation for local, interstate and overseas visitors.”
Founder and CEO of Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital and WRA Director Dr Stephen Van Mil said the purchase will create new opportunities for public education about Australian native animals.
“From our new home, we will continue to provide expert veterinary services for wildlife free of charge,” Dr Van Mil said.
“Offering educational visitor experiences alongside our veterinary and conservation work will help to inform people about the skills, facilities and resources required to give wildlife the quality care they deserve.
“It costs a lot of money to provide expert veterinary treatment, rehabilitation facilities for wildlife. WRA continues to seek philanthropic donations, private sector capital and public funding to carry out this important work to save wildlife.”