Why a wildlife hospital is desperately needed
EVERY day, without fail, Lennox Head veterinarian Dr Evan Kosack will treat at least five wild native animals.
That's on top of his normal workload of looking after and operating on people's pets.
And Dr Kosack says it's a similar story for vets right across the Northern Rivers.
It's starting to take a toll on the profession so, with the help of Dr Stephen van Mil, he's rallying the community to help raise funds to build a wildlife hospital.
"We were sitting around in a bar wondering what we could do, how we could contribute in a vet science-themed way,” Dr Kosack said.
"Maybe we'd had a drink or two too many, but we came up with this idea.
"We look after a lot of wildlife in our vet clinics on the Northern Rivers - birds, reptiles, echidnas, marine animals such as turtles, pelicans, migratory birds, sea snakes.
"The other day I spent three-and-a-half hours operating on wildlife.
"People assume we get paid by some imaginary government department to do this work - but we don't.
"We pay, out of our own pockets, for the equipment, drugs, time and staff.
"But this is why we're vets.
"It's satisfying to be able to help these animals, and it's interesting work.”
Dr Kosack the Northern Rivers had needed a dedicated wildlife hospital for many years.
Now it's time to get the ball rolling.
The wildlife hospital would be basically an emergency department for wild animals, staffed voluntarily by veterinarians on a roster basis with paid nursing and administration staff.
Money would be raised to buy equipment and drugs.
"We need a place to build it,” Dr Kosack said.
"We are hoping to get second-hand equipment from a hospital.
"It's going to cost a lot of money.”
An information night will be held at The Bowlo at Bangalow from 6pm on November 22.
It is open to anyone who is interested in helping care for and save Australian wildlife.
You will be joining a passionate group of people who want to create a wildlife hospital on the Northern Rivers.
You are most welcome if you a a wildlife carer, veterinary surgeon or nurse, or able to provide services, land, building funds or fabulous ideas. to RSVP phone or text Tania on 0420 833 479.