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Australia Zoo Open Intensive Care Ward for Koalas

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 17, 2022 6:28 pm

Koala Intensive Care Australia Zoo

Wildlife Warrior, Robert Irwin is seen with a rescued koala in the new Intensive care building at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors

Australia Zoo have opened a brand-new Koala Intensive Care Unit, the Perry MacFarlane Intensive Care Ward. The new center will provide space for specialized treatments for sick, injured and native wildlife.

The center was funded by actor and producer Seth MacFarlane, in honor of his mother,  Perry MacFarlane.

Seth provided a generous donation of $1 million to fund treatment of drought and fire affected animals. The world-class facility that includes temperature-controlled rehabilitation areas and a state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber, as donated by the Hyperbaric Veterinary Medicine (HVM), for aiding in the treatment of patients suffering from burns.  

The catastrophic 2019-2020 bushfire season saw the alarming number of patients who suffered from dehydration, burn injuries, smoke inhalation and starvation present to the wildlife hospital.

Koala Intensive Care Australia Zoo

The new Penny Macfarlane koala ward at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors

During that bushfire season over 3 million animals are believed to have been lost or become severely injured. Over half the population of chlamydia free koalas were lost making their chances of survival even worse.

The new ICU facility will provide space for veterinarians and nurses to treat patients that are affected by wildfires of this intensity and magnitude.

“We are so thankful to Seth MacFarlane for his support, this new facility will be a game-changer for wildlife in need, especially those affected by drought and wildfires,” said Terri Irwin, Founder of Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.

While the facility will focus on helping koalas it has also been designed to help platypus and echidnas, both of which we saw drastically affected by the 2019-2020 bushfire season.

“Around the world we are seeing increased bushfire activity, the ICU will be critical to ensuring our wildlife have the best chance possible in these situations. It has never been more important for us to look after our native fauna and flora, as we share the planet with them and must ensure that we protect them in the wild for generations to come,” Terri Irwin said.

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An orphaned koala joey, Salt is the first animal being treated in the intensive care unit. Unfortunately his mother was suffering from neurological injuries when she arrived at the hospital after a car crash.

Now six months old he will be given lifesaving treatment and care he needs to rehabilitate and be released for a second chance at life in the wild. 

Australia Zoo hospital treat the largest number of koalas of any facility in the country.

“We treat around 800 koalas at our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital each year, with Trauma Season bringing in more patients than ever. Our new Intensive Care Ward is an incredibly important facility that will help us treat not just koalas, but also echidnas and platypus, further helping us achieve Dad’s important mission of wildlife conservation,” said wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin.


The work of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital expands beyond Queensland with teams deployed to  Kangaroo Island, off the coast to South Australia, to help with rescue and recovery efforts as tens of thousands of koalas were estimated to have perished. 

Learn more about Koalas here – Koala Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Platypus here – Platypus Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Australia Zoo on their website – Australia Zoo

Koala Intensive Care Australia Zoo

A rescued platypus and echidna pup at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors

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