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Currumbin Wildlife Hospital admits over 11,000 sick, injured and orphaned wildlife patients each year including nearly 500 koalas which is a 16 fold increase in koala admissions over the past 10 years.
Our aim is to treat, rehabilitate and release these patients back into the wild but prevention is always better than cure. We collaborate closely with universities and City of Gold Coast to participate in vital research which we hope will one day help save our vulnerable koalas and the endangered Long-beaked Echidna of Papua New Guinea from extinction.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has been working with The University of Queensland for the past 15 years to unlock the secrets of echidna reproduction. The Australian Short-beaked Echidna is one of only three mammals worldwide that lay eggs, making them incredibly unique and until recently very difficult to breed in captivity.
The many years of investigation have led us to now be able to reliably breed the Short-beaked Echidna through assessment of the individual echidna fertility, careful attention to diet and husbandry along with close observation of behaviour in the lead up to mating. We have now bred a world record 19 puggles and a total collection of 25 Short-beaked Echidnas.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and The University of Queensland have recently teamed with Melbourne University to collaboratively investigate the unique reproduction and development of the Short-beaked Echidna. A significant Australian Research Council Grant is funding this research team over the next 3 years. The long term goal of this research is to use our knowledge to help save the endangered Long-beaked Echidna of Papua New Guinea
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has a long proud history of collaborating with universities and contributing to koala research through both the captive Sanctuary resident koalas and also the many wild koalas that are admitted through the Wildlife Hospital.
Sadly our local wild koala population is now listed as vulnerable, disease is a major factor in contributing to the decline in koala numbers. Our Wildlife Hospital admits nearly 500 wild koalas every year, 80% of these koalas are admitted because of disease or have underlying subclinical disease. The 2 major diseases affecting koalas are koala chlamydia and koala retrovirus. Currumbin Wildlife Hospital is collaborating with The University of Queensland, University of the Sunshine Coast and the City of Gold Coast to investigate these diseases to find cures and preventions to save our koalas.
There is currently a koala chlamydial vaccine trial that is showing promise to be able to protect koalas from this devastating disease. We are desperately looking for more funding to help further research into koala chlamydia and further develop the vaccine.