27 Dec 2018

Dunedin's Wildlife Hospital: a year of healing

From Summer Times 2020/2021, 8:21 am on 27 December 2018

Staff at Dunedin's Wildlife Hospital have treated over 40 species in the year its been open – and about a third of patients were endangered or critically endangered.

The hospital mostly cares for birds, including a good number of kea – so intelligent they're difficult to keep detained and entertained – and one of New Zealand's extremely rare wild black stilts (kakī).

Common injuries at the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital:

  • Tūī and silvereye (wax-eye) attacked by cats
  • Storm-blown albatrosses and sooty shearwaters
  • Penguins starving due to food competition at sea
  • Penguins bitten by predators of the sea and land (dogs)
  • Lead poisoning in Harrier hawks (Kahu)
  • Harrier hawks (Kahu) hit by cars while eating roadkill
  • Kererū striking windows

Jordana Whyte's wildlife tips for summer:

  • Keep an eye on your dog at the beach, don't let them run into sand dunes
  • If you're feeding birds in the backyard, don't put the bird feeder anywhere near a spot where a cat could hide and stalk them
  • Swerve to avoid birds eating roadkill
  • Apply reflective decals from Project Kereru to your car windscreen

The Dunedin Wildlife Hospital is a partnership with Otago Polytechnic and its School of Veterinary Nursing.

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