Patient of the Week

All proceeds from Steve Irwin Day go into projects such as the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Australian Wildlife Hospital.

The Australian Wildlife Hospital treats thousands of injured animals each year. Sadly, many of them don’t make it back to the wild. The lucky ones make a full recovery and go on to live happy and healthy lives in their natural habitat. These are their stories…

Gina the Pelican

Gina the Pelican

Age: Adult

Sex: Female Weight: 6.15kg

Found: On a sandbank in the Maroochydore River. Gina was severely entangled in fishing line and hooks.

Transported to: The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital by the Rescue Unit after a concerned local made the call.

Veterinary Assessment: Dr Amber was on duty to treat Gina on arrival. The damage caused by the fishing gear was immediately evident. She had a large tear in her beak pouch, a deep gash on her neck and several wounds on her right wing. An x-ray under anaesthesia fortunately came back all clear for any fishing items that may have been ingested.

Treatment: Dr Amber removed fishing line and multiple hooks that were caught in her wing. She cleaned the injuries with saline and applied sutures to the wounds on her wing, back, and the large wound on her neck. The beak pouch required a double layer of sutures as it had torn right through. Pain relief and antibiotics were administered to fight infection.

Future: Once Gina stabilised, she was transferred to a carer who specialises in sea birds. The carer will rehabilitate Gina, ensuring her wounds are healing well. She will return to AZWH for a check-up and once given the all clear she will be released back to her habitat in the wild.

AZWH Fact: Injuries caused by fishing equipment can be the most devastating for marine birds. Always discard unwanted fishing items carefully.

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