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March 28, 2023

Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital open today

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Dr Bree Talbot
Dr Bree Talbot is the full-time wildlife vet at the Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital. Photo supplied.

After a lot of preparation, today the Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital has opened its doors to provide full-time specialist care for injured and traumatised wildlife with a veterinary team led by wildlife specialist Dr Bree Talbot.

A Green Sea Turtle who has swallowed a fishhook is one of Dr Bree’s first patients, and a reminder of the dangers wildlife face every day. Photo supplied.

From today, the Wildlife Hospital will operate full-time veterinary services from Lennox Head. They will admit, diagnose and treat native animals including mammals, birds, reptiles and marine life.

Dr Bree Talbot said she is delighted to join such a highly experienced team of veterinarians. ‘Their combined knowledge and experience inspire my commitment to give vulnerable native animals all the specialist care they need to get them back into the wild where they belong.’

From today any member of the public who encounters distressed native animals should call the Wildlife Hospital phone number to get immediate advice on what to do. ’Then so we can admit them as patients and hopefully save lives,’ said Dr Talbot.

Dr Stephen Van Mil. Photo supplied.

Work on wildlife started already

Bree says the work has started already, as she is currently assessing a young magpie with a twisted leg, a baby blue-tongue lizard that has been attacked, and a freshwater turtle that’s swallowed a fish hook.

Dr Bree joins Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital from the University of Sydney’s Avian Reptile And Exotic Pet Hospital where she has specialised in the medical care of exotic pets and wildlife including koalas, wombats, reptiles and many different bird species. She is a Member and Examiner of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Unusual pet medicine and surgery.

Wildlife Hospital Founder and CEO Dr Stephen Van Mil said the Dr Bree’s talents, compassion and experience working in bushfire-affected areas to treat badly injured animals are the reasons she is the full-time Foundation Vet.

Wildlife Hospital has attracted international support

In a turbulent year, Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital has attracted support from the United Nations, Wild Ark, Odonata and World Animal Protection and inspired the generosity of hundreds of people around the world who contributed over $574,000 to build the organisation’s Mobile Wildlife Hospital, scheduled for completion in November.

‘We’re delighted with this support, and are committed to meeting the high demand for specialist care of our voiceless wildlife,’ said Dr Van Mil.

‘Unfortunately, no one pays the expensive veterinary bills to provide this care, so we need ongoing funding support through charitable donations. All contributions small or large are vital, and go directly to saving wildlife.

Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital can be reached on 0437 818 883.

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  1. Sorry, but why is it called the ‘Byron Bay Wildlife’ Hospital when it’s in Lennox Head! This ‘Byron Bay branding’ is fake and frankly ludicrous and only detracts from the obviously wonderful cause.

  2. Honestly it’s location is ridiculous it’s so close to Currumbin which is also a specialist hospital for wildlife. It should of been closer to Casino then it spaces out the distances people have to travel. So many won’t take wildlife 2 hours away if they do they’ll keep going 2.5 hours to Currumbin. No doubt the people working there live in Lennox and Byron.


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