FLOODS DEVASTATE SOUTH EAST QLD AND NORTHERN NSW
In late February and early March 2022, areas in South East QLD and Northern NSW were impacted by torrential rain and devastating floods.
The floods also lead to a significant rise in animal admissions to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, which remained open throughout the entire crisis. At one stage the hospital was itself surrounded by flood waters, but fortunately 3 staff managed to get in early and look after more than 100 patients by themselves, until further help could arrive.
Between February 28 and March 8 there were more than 540 animals admitted to the hospital. An increase of more than 58 percent compared to the same time in 2021.
This increase in admissions put extra pressure on vet staff, supplies and funds to cover operational costs.
Freshwater Turtles were one of the most common species admitted during this time, washed out of the creeks and onto the beaches, roads, and areas where they were injured or became unwell.
Juvenile Birds were also washed out of their nests, and as a result of the rubbish in the water, the hospital is now seeing many water birds, such as Black Swans and Pelicans, with Botulism.
Northern NSW organisations were unable to handle many of the Koala patients due to flood damaged roads and the ability to source supplies. Currumbin Wildlife Hospital supported this region by caring for an increased number of patients and holding patients at the hospital for longer periods to relieve pressure from impacted volunteer organisations and hospitals in the region.
The average cost per patient in the hospital is approximately $120, leaving the hospital with nearly $25,000 worth of extra costs during the flood crisis.
Fortunately, a lot of the patients admitted during the floods are now slowly being released back into the wild. This would not have been possible without the support of Currumbin Wildlife Hospital staff, some of which were impacted by the floods themselves. But also, the volunteers, supporters and corporate partners who ensure the hospital can continue its crucial work.
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