Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital has announced new facilities to extend its capacity to recover and rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned wildlife for return to the wild.
Co-located at Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (formerly the Macadamia Castle), the 450 square metre Wildlife Recovery Area features large enclosures for birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. There is also office space and a reception area for carers and members of the public with wildlife in their care. Construction and materials were funded through philanthropic donations from the MacRae family. The Seaton Foundation donated funds to purchase the animal enclosures, fixtures, tools and equipment.
“We are extremely grateful to David, Sue and Scott MacRae, Belinda and Kristy-Lee Seaton for their unwavering belief in our work. These facilities would not exist without their generous support,” said Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital Founder & CEO Dr. Stephen Van Mil.
“As the North Coast region’s only all-species Wildlife Hospital, we’ve seen patient numbers grow steadily over the past three years to up to 100 a week. We need more space to meet demand,” said Foundation Veterinarian Dr Bree Talbot.
“The proximity of the Recovery Area to the Hospital means we can monitor the health of patients more closely and collaborate with licensed wildlife rehabilitators to maximise their prospects of recovery, release and survival in the wild.”
“We feel very proud to be able to support the development of the Recovery Area that complements the amazing work the vet team do at the Wildlife Hospital,” said Scott MacRae.
“As locals, we look forward to continuing to support helping Australia’s native animals.”
The Wildlife Hospital has also received a brand new four-wheel drive Recovery Vehicle for the busy summer ahead sponsored by SIXT Truck and Car Rental.
“The SIXT Wildlife Recovery Vehicle means our team can pick up wildlife patients from general practice vets, volunteer carers, and collect browse for the Sanctuary’s resident koalas,” said Dr Talbot.
“It can also serve as a support vehicle if the Wildlife Hospital is deployed to assist wildlife impacted in a natural disaster, such as a bushfire.”
The Seaton Foundation has also funded a Volunteer Coordinator position to recruit and manage a team of volunteers who will support the veterinary team and Sanctuary keepers in the day-to-day running of the Wildlife Recovery Area.
“The Wildlife Hospital’s work is critically important for wildlife welfare, and there is so much work to do. Supporting The Wildlife Hospital’s veterinary team with a paid position to coordinate a volunteer program made sense to us,” said Belinda Seaton, Director of the Seaton Foundation.
“These valuable assets from the MacRae Family, the Seaton Foundation and SIXT Truck and Car Rentals significantly increase our capacity and responsiveness to the needs of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife,” said Dr Van Mil.
“Along with infrastructure upgrades, visitor experience improvements at the Sanctuary, and a new raptor rehabilitation centre scheduled to open in Byron Bay in early 2024, we are more determined than ever to achieve positive welfare outcomes for our precious wildlife.” said Dr Van Mil.