On 10th August 2023, Getty Images Photojournalist and Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital Wildlife Ambassador James D. Morgan published these incredible photos and video footage of our Senior Veterinary Nurse Louise Napoli feeding an orphaned Red-necked wallaby patient. The 190-day-old marsupial was rescued after being separated from its mother who was hit by a car.
The tiny macropod suffered severe head trauma and lacerations after being thrown from his mother’s pouch in the impact. The young wallaby, named Phoenix, was expected to be euthanised, but made a remarkable recovery after expert medical care from Associate Veterinarian Dr Chantal Whitten and attending vet nurses.
With spring approaching, more native animals will be out and about seeking mates and food for their young, making them vulnerable to impact collisions with motorists. According to the NRMA, who are sponsors of Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, an estimated 10 million native animals die every year as a result of impact collisions with motorists.
Our veterinarians treat, care for and save wildlife like Phoenix every day. This is why we are appealing to the Minister for the Environment to recognise the value of our work and provide emergency funding to avoid having to close or restrict our service. As the only all-species wildlife hospital outside of Taronga Wildlife Hospitals in Sydney and Dubbo, we offer a vital lifeline for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in a richly biodiverse region of Australia.
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(Photos by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)
The story was also published as a pictorial feature in The Guardian’s The Week In Wildlife series.