Wildlife Hospital opens in Dunedin

  • 15/01/2018
The South Island now has an animal hospital to treat injured wildlife.
The South Island now has an animal hospital to treat injured wildlife. Photo credit: Getty

The South Island now has an animal hospital to treat injured wildlife.

The Wildlife Hospital opens in Dunedin on Monday staffed by Dr Lisa Argilla, one of New Zealand's best-known wildlife veterinary surgeons, and wildlife veterinary nurse Angelina Martelli.

"Angelina, our senior wildlife vet nurse, and I are really excited to be starting on Monday, setting up the equipment and admitting the first patients," Dr Argilla says.

"Until all the specialist equipment on order is finally delivered and installed, we may have to seek help from local vet practices for use of their equipment, but this will only be for a few weeks," she says.

Based at Otago Polytechnic's School of Veterinary Nursing, the facility is the only specialist wildlife hospital for sick and injured native animals in the South Island.

It will be able to treat up to 500 animals per year when staffed at full capacity.

The initiative is a partnership between Otago Polytechnic and The Wildlife Hospital Trust.

Andy Cunningham, co-chair of the Wildlife Hospital Trust, said the Department of Conservation and several other organisations had contributed to the project.

"We've had the most amazing support from charitable funders, who have helped us purchase much of the specialist equipment we need to keep our operating costs down, as well as make the hospital operate as smoothly as possible.

"We're intrigued to see what our first patient will be. I would only offer short odds on it being either a yellow-eyed penguin or a kereru!"

NZN