WIRES has announced plans to financially assist Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, to expand its facility and be equipped to treat a rapidly increasing number of sick, injured and orphaned Australian wildlife.
The hospital was built in 2009 with a plan to cater for a 10-20 per cent growth in admissions annually, but within 10 years this increased by 300 per cent.
The recent drought and Black Summer bushfires resulted in a record number of wildlife hospital admissions. Over 1500 native animals were admitted from November to January with almost 100 animals daily at the peak of the bushfires.
WIRES has committed to contributing over $312,000 to fund the construction of the hospital extension as well as the medical fit-out costs. The works are scheduled for completion before summer which is traditionally its busiest period.
The new extension will provide increased capacity for triage, examination and treatment, while also increasing the capacity for native animals requiring hospitalisation for extended periods of time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not reduced general admissions. In fact, during the month of May 2020 the hospital admitted 14 per cent more native animals than May 2019.
“We have worked closely with Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for many years as they help with the specialised treatment of rescued animals brought in by WIRES volunteers,” WIRES CEO Leanne Taylor said.
“We feel fortunate to be in the position to fund this much needed project as a result of the community donations we received to help wildlife in the wake of the recent emergency events.”
WIRES will also be supporting ongoing emergency rescue assistance with a dedicated emergency rescue responder and emergency vehicle based at Currumbin to improve rescue response capability. This dedicated rescue resource will help animals get the fastest possible assistance, while ensuring rescued animals will get immediate emergency vet treatment and will be able to be rehabilitated within the existing network of qualified local carers.