News & Press: NZVA news

Pop-up penguin hospital a huge success

Saturday, 18 March 2017  
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Congratulations to wildlife veterinarian Lisa Argilla (our Wildlife Society branch president) and the team at the pop-up penguin hospital at Otago Polytechnic for a very successful summer of saving penguins.

The pop-up hospital, funded by the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and housed at Otago Polytechnic for the last nine weeks, closed on Friday. In that time the team have saved 34 yellow-eyed penguins. With only 250 breeding pairs on the mainland, that’s a considerable contribution to the population.

“These birds require intensive hospitalisation. It’s been fantastic working from Dunedin, I truly believe we’ve made a real difference to the success of care this season” says Dr Argilla.

Dr Argilla will stay on for a few days to care for the remaining birds, but any newly injured birds will now be treated by local vets, or flown to Wellington or Palmerston North for care.

Francesca Brown, Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing Programme Leader, says it has been a delight having the penguin hospital onsite.

“It’s great these birds could be treated locally, and we’re so pleased that Lisa and her team of volunteers have done so well. It was a real honour for Otago Polytechnic to be involved with this project.”