Haere Mai

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The Wildlife Hospital, Dunedin is based at Otago Polytechnic. It’s the only facility of its kind, in the South Island of New Zealand – home to some of the world’s most unique and most threatened species. We treat a wide variety of animals, including native birds, penguins, seals, and sea lions. The hospital is crucial for the survival of many of these creatures.

Our doors finally opened in January 2018, after years of planning and some extremely dedicated fundraising. A special thank you goes out to each and every person who has donated, without you, the hospital would not be possible.

So far, we’ve been operating successfully, with very high survival rates. But, we still need ongoing donations to keep the hospital up and running. Recurring payments will help make us a truly sustainable operation, but any contribution will be gratefully received. So, if you’ve been thinking of giving, it’s not too late. Far from it.

Donating money isn’t the only way to help. The Wildlife Hospital relies on volunteers and we still have a number of opportunities available. So, if you’d like to become more involved with this incredible new facility, we’d love to hear from you.

The Wildlife Hospital is a partnership with Otago Polytechnic, and its School of Veterinary Nursing. We’re also collaborating with many other organisations across the community, to create opportunities for education, training and research.

Before the hospital opened, sick or injured endangered species were flown to the North Island for treatment – a journey that seriously reduced their chances of pulling through. Animals that aren’t endangered were left to either fight for themselves, or were euthanased. 

A quick, local response, maximises the survival rates of all native wildlife. Ultimately, we'll be increasing animal populations right across the lower South Island.  

Up to 80% of the native species in New Zealand are now under threat of extinction, and while there are many great initiatives to reduce predators and increase safe havens for these animals, there is a pressing need to save every single one we can – right now.  As habitats are slowly recovered, we need to make sure the animals are still in existence to populate them.

Although newly opened, we did test the waters with two temporary wildlife hospitals (in the summers of 2016 and 2017). Both were a great success, with a total of 70 admissions seeing a success rate of 80%. The international standard for wildlife rehab is 45-50%. You can see videos and photos of many of the animals we’ve helped, in our gallery below.

We’ll constantly be updating photos and videos, as we treat more animals. If you want to stay up to date with what’s happening at the hospital, follow us on Facebook.