Oh, what a day!

Turtle Care team at the turtle treatment tank

Turtle Care team at the turtle treatment tank

The Cooloola CoastCare Turtle Care team was invited to a behind the scenes tour of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH) and what a day it was!

The Turtle Care team has a great relationship with the hospital. AZWH treats the sick or injured sea turtles that we rescue on the Cooloola Coast from Tin Can Bay, Carlo, and Inskip.

We were met by AZWH Sea Turtle Supervisor, Jacob and Vet Nurse Breanna who guided our tour. Their knowledge and passion for their job was truly amazing.

AZWH was built in 2004 and operates the same as a general hospital. It is exclusively for wildlife: birds, reptiles, mammals, bats, and sea life. Over a 12-month period between 9,000 to 10,000 animals are brought to the hospital.

Sick or injured animals are checked in at reception, taken to triage, then if necessary to a surgical theatre. The hospital has an x-ray room, intensive care units, pathology lab, and rehabilitation wards and areas.

The intensive care ward has a hyperbaric chamber which is utilised to treat koalas and other patients suffering burns injuries by supplying 100% oxygen.

The complex has an amazing kitchen stocked with a huge variety of foods to cater for all the different animals.

Of special interest to us was the sea turtle area. This area has a pool to test the turtle’s ability to dive and swim and 3 treatment tanks. To transfer these large animals (average weight is 90kg) between the pool and tanks is a hoist system with a cargo-like net.

It was a great day and we can’t thank Jacob enough for sharing his time and knowledge.

Special thanks also to Polleys Coaches of Gympie for their generous use of the Polleys coach and top driver Pam to transport the team to the zoo and home.

Jan Waters

Cooloola CoastCare, Turtle Care

%d bloggers like this: