Learn how you can contribute help save the Koalas in Queensland
Volunteering with the australian Wildlife has been the most rewarding experience of my travels around Australia this year. The insight and the knowledge I gained about the threats koalas are undergoing in Australia was simply amazing, let alone the extraordinary personal experience of getting close to australian native animals.
The Wildlife Hospital in Beerwah has been doing an impressive job rescuing, treating and saving thousands and thousands of australian endangered animals, each year.
This year the Wildlife Hospital in Beerwah has been working at full capacity with 90 koalas patients all the time, and as every year there have been great koalas survival stories, and of course some sad ones too. To help save the koalas is only possible thanks to costant contribution of hundreds of volunteers who are offering their help on a regular basis, along with the generosity of donators without which the hospital could not keep up this unmatched performance.
Behind the scenes of the Wildlife Hospital there is also the work of a great team of Wildlife Warriors made of medical and organizational staff. During my stay I had the pleasure to meet and work together with Leisa Bright, the volunteer coordinator and Kylie, who assists Leisa coordinating the work of volunteers.
Here below you can read my interview with Leisa Bright.
Interview with Leisa Bright at the Wildlife Hospital
Q.: For how long have you been involved in volunteering with the australian wildlife?
A.: I spent 4 years volunteering and 2 1/2 working as a volunteer coordinator at the Wildlife Hospital.
Q.: Can you tell us what is your work as a volunteer coordinator about?
A.: I am responsible for the interviews, recruiting volunteers, the training, introducing volunteers in
the day-to-day work, like teaching how to feed koalas, leafing in and out from the koalas
enclosures, I am also looking after difficult koalas who need to be fed with bottles.
Q.: How do you usually look for volunteers ?
A.: usually with talks in the community in the surrounding area of Beerwah. This is the most common way of informing the locals about the Wildlife Warriors. Moreover we use the website of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, there is an application form that readers can fill in and send to us by mail.
Q.: How is the response to this way of recruiting volunteers?
A.: Well, average 50% of all sent out forms do not come back. We use the form to filter out people, so as to get people who are really interested ind volunteering and also in line with the volunteer work expectations.
Q.: Who are the volunteers and what is the work they do?
A.: 95 % of all volunteers are locals who join us on a regular basis, we had 4 international students and some international travellers. 90% of work is done outside with the maintenance of the banks. Recently a nurse night shift was introduced from 2.30-10.30 so we are having some people helping out the nurses on this shift too.
Q.: Are Koalas endangered? What can you tell us about it?
A.: In this area of Brisbane,including the Sunshine coast and the Gold Coast koalas are endangered and are expected to extinct within 10 years from now.
Q.: To what extent are people aware of this threat? How do locals react to this situation?
A.: People tend to care more about their land, their house and their dog, they are not counscious about the protection of the natural habitat for koalas.
Q.: Who are in your opinion more receptive to the wildlife conservation ?
A.: definitely the younger generation is more aware and conscious about this situation compared to the previous generation. The younger generation is willing to listen and learn about the threats the australian wildlife is exposed to and are prepared to spend a few months learning how to deal with it and how they can help solve this problem.
Q.: What are the viable ways of supporting the habitat of koalas?
A.: there are many ways, the main effective ways are the following:
- actively preserve the natural environment while retaining the bushland
- avoid the clearing of vast bushland areas,
- do more planting to create tunnels/corridors that enable koalas to move around from one habitat to the next and cross roads safely,
- drive carefully especially at night,
- keep the dogs locked up so as to avoid dog attacking koalas
- increase people awareness and response, with donation, adoptation or joining the Wildlife Warriors Volunteer Project.
Q.: Why do you think someone could benefit from a Wildlife Warrior Volunteer Experience?
A.: First of all because of education at all levels, with locals and international people, whilst volunteering people get some skills, they enrich their life with this experience, they get an insight about Koalas threats and dangers and they learn what they can do to help save endangered australian animals.
How to Become a Wildlife Warrior Volunteer
I am sure many of you know about the Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland, but you might not know about about the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Project which was established by Steve Irwin and his wife Terri. This Australian Wildlife Volunteering Project was created with the aim to involve people in the protection and care of injured, sick, orphaned, threatened wildlife from the individual animals to the entire species.
A few Facts about the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
- Located at Beerwah, near the Australia zoo,in Queensland (north of Brisbane)
- Opened in 2004, inspired by the memory of Lyn Irwin (Steve Irwin's mother)
- Started in 2004 in an old avocado packing shed
- Only treat australian native wildlife
- Has a capacity of treating up to 10,000 patients every year
- From 2004 up to now has received almost 30,000 animals with 38% increase every year
- The new Wildlife Hospital opened in 2008 on Steve Irwin's day 15th November
- Receive nearly 100 wildlife emergency calls every day
- Up to 30 species are admitted every day
- About 70% of all patients have been injured by car accidents or pet attacks
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in pictures
The Wildlife Hospital is daily involved with the care of sick and injured australian native animals. In the picture below you see a vet assisting a koala patient which was submitted to the emergency room of the hospital. Every day 100 of australian animals receive medical treatment and care. Thanks to the work of this Wildlife Hospital like many australian animals can survive and brought back to their wild habitat.
How to contribute to the Wildlife Warriors Project
Being a free community service with no government funding, the Wildlife Hospital relies on the generosity of donators and on the work of volunteers . Currently approximately 95 volunteers help out on a regular basis. The majority of volunteers are residents, but an increasing number of international students as well as travellers (like me) join the Wildlife Warriors Volunteering Project every year.
Because “small changes in everyday lives make a huge difference” everyone can support the Wildlife Warriors Project with their contribution.
I am proud of having been involved in this great Australian Wildlife Volunteering Project and am keen of telling you about my Wildlife Warrior Volunteer experience at the Australia Zoo, Wildlife Hospital Beerwah.
You can do it by becoming a Wildlife Warrior at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in Beerwah.
Small changes in everyday lives make a BIG difference….
Save one koala, save the species!