Wildlife hospital plans impress mayor, MP

High level support . . . Otago Polytechnic School of Vet Nursing head Dr Francesca Brown (left) and Wildlife Hospital Trust co-chair Steve Walker show Dunedin South MP and Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Clare Curran and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull around the wildlife hospital site. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

Leading figures in the Dunedin community visited the site of Wildlife Hospital Dunedin last week, to check on progress and lend their support to the cause.

On Friday, Dunedin South Labour MP and Minister of Communications and Digital Media Clare Curran and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull toured the wildlife hospital facility with trust co-chairman Steve Walker.

Located within the Otago Polytechnic School of Vet Nursing, the wildlife hospital has its own operating theatre and recovery wards.

The Wildlife Hospital Trust is vigorously fundraising to buy specialised equipment and to fund the ongoing operating costs for the hospital, which will be run by specialist wildlife vet Dr Lisa Argilla and wildlife vet nurse Angelina Martelli.

Mr Cull was impressed by the hospital’s plans to combine two of Dunedin’s “greatest strengths” – its wildlife and education.

“This facility will bring them together in a way that is fantastic for the wildlife and for the city,” Mr Cull said.

From a purely economic point of view, Dunedin’s wildlife and environmental attractions contributed about $100 million a year to the city’s economy.

“And while we value our wildlife for its own sake, it is also very important to Dunedin economically,” he said.

Ms Curran said Dunedin was “the perfect place” for the wildlife hospital, and was confident the local community would rally to support it.

The “Saving Our Native Species” fundraising campaign has been boosted this week by a donation of $10,000 from the Otago Polytechnic’s One Million Dollar Dinner charity auction on Saturday night.

This brings this week’s total to $10,422.69, and the overall total to $39, 461.51.

Wildlife Hospital Trust co-chair Andy Cunningham is delighted with the support, and with the “fantastic progress” in the campaign.

“We are so pleased with how awareness and support for our cause is growing in the community,” he said.


The Wildlife Hospital Dunedin Trust needs your support to raise at least $60,000 to fund equipment and a vet nurse’s salary.

Ongoing funding will also be needed to help pay for medicines, bandages and other equipment in the hospital’s first year.

All donations, large and small, will make a difference.

You can make a bank transfer or set up an automatic payment to account number: 12-3150-0161217-00.

To donate online, visit www.wildlifehospitaldunedin.org.nz/donate

Send a cheque to: The Wildlife Hospital Trust, 40 Sutcliffe St, St Clair, Dunedin 9012.

Givealittle: Go to givealittle.co.nz, search for The Wildlife Hospital Dunedin.