Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital (BBWH) have custom-built a mobile wildlife hospital by fitting out a 16 metre (52.5 feet) semi-trailer that can attend to any wildlife crisis anywhere in Australia to treat and care for distraught and injured native animals.
Wildlife specialist, Dr Bree Talbot, and a small team of volunteers and veterinary staff on-board BBWH will be on the frontlines to treat and rehabilitate injured wildlife.
"Personally being able to work in a mobile hospital means that I can actually help these animals quickly. I can get there and I can give them the treatment that they need. I can give them the medicine and the pain relief and the fluid therapy and actually see what's happening to them and then treat them and get them back out hopefully sooner rather than later," Dr Talbot said.
Fitted out with the leading-edge veterinary equipment, including ultra sound, X-ray, operating and recovery areas, on-board water storage, satellite communications and solar power, the totally self-sufficient vehicle was the brainchild of BBWH veterinarian and conservationist Dr Stephen Van Mil and co-veterinarian Dr Evan Kosack. The two friends and fellow vets conceived the idea of a mobile hospital to attend directly to the wildlife, prior to Australia's recent bushfires, but needed the funds to build it.
Following a crowd funding campaign in June, along with philanthropic donations and help from conservation organizations, the A$700,000 ($515,336) mobile hospital was shown the public for the first time on Thursday.
World Wildlife Fund for Nature Australia (WWF) will contribute ongoing costs of A$250,000 ($184,049) to help maintain the wildlife hospital, Head of Healthy Land and Seascapes, Darren Grover calling the mobile hospital, "wildlife care on steroids."