Wild Futures

Wild Futures

Future-proofing Australian wildlife.

We no longer have the luxury of letting nature take its course when it comes to the protection of our native wildlife. There is simply not enough intact nature to support the recovery of animals from crisis.

Taronga's Wild Futures project will future-proof Australia's wildlife, and you can help us on this journey.

The vision

Taronga’s specialist veterinary teams work under enormous pressure to respond to increasing demand for veterinary and wildlife care services. The pressure isn’t just on our teams, it’s also on our facilities. Built in the 1970’s, Taronga’s two current Wildlife Hospitals are now simply no longer fit for purpose.

To future-proof Australia’s wildlife, we must provide our wildlife first responders the hospitals and rehabilitation facilities that meet the ever-growing demand for Taronga’s services to save our unique wildlife. 

Taronga's ambitious vision to bring to NSW Australia’s first state-of-the-art Specialist Teaching Veterinary Hospitals in Sydney and Dubbo will cement NSW as a global leader in wildlife conservation.

Modern facilities will not only provide urgently needed additional space for the increasing demand on Taronga’s services for treatment, surgeries, rehabilitation and quarantine, but will enable widespread training and upskilling of wildlife carers, students and veterinary practitioners across the country. 

This project will only be possible with the help of generous philanthropists.

We invite you to join us on this journey.

An artist's impression of Taronga Wildlife Hospital, Sydney (final design subject to change).
An artist's impression of Taronga Wildlife Hospital, Sydney (final design subject to change).
An artist's impression of Taronga Wildlife Hospital, Sydney (final design subject to change).
An artist's impression of Taronga Wildlife Hospital, Sydney (final design subject to change).
Platypus in care at Taronga's Wildlife Hospital in Sydney.
Platypus in care at Taronga's Wildlife Hospital in Sydney.
Veterinary Officer Kimberly Vinette Herrin providing emergency response in the field during the 2019/20 bushfires. Photo: VIC Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning.
Veterinary Officer Kimberly Vinette Herrin providing emergency response in the field during the 2019/20 bushfires. Photo: VIC Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning.
Senior Veterinarian Dr. Benn Bryant gives a Regent Honeyeater a health check at the Wildlife Hospital in Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. Photo: Rick Stevens
Senior Veterinarian Dr. Benn Bryant gives a Regent Honeyeater a health check at the Wildlife Hospital in Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. Photo: Rick Stevens
Albatross at Taronga Wildlife Hospital, Sydney.
Albatross at Taronga Wildlife Hospital, Sydney.
A koala receives care at the Wildlife Hospital in Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo.
A koala receives care at the Wildlife Hospital in Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo.
Wildlife Hospital Manager, Libby Hall, caring for a Marine Turtle at the Wildlife Hospital in Taronga Zoo Sydney. Photo: Madeleine Smitham
Wildlife Hospital Manager, Libby Hall, caring for a Marine Turtle at the Wildlife Hospital in Taronga Zoo Sydney. Photo: Madeleine Smitham

The project

Taronga’s Wild Futures Project is comprised of three new facilities: two state of the art Wildlife Hospitals (Sydney and Dubbo) and a Reptile & Amphibian Conservation Centre.

Taronga Wildlife Hospital, Sydney

Australia's first specialist wildlife veterinary teaching hospital.

Did you know Taronga is the largest contributor to veterinary services in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in NSW and a major national training ground for veterinary staff specialising in native wildlife treatment? 

The new facility will replace the existing veterinary, quarantine and animal nutrition facilities. The relocated and expanded hospital will not only provide modern facilities for wildlife care, nutrition and research but also significantly increase capacity for the treatment of resident animals in addition to expanding and improving capacity for the treatment and rehabilitation of wildlife species.

A central part of the design and purpose of the new hospital is the critical role it will play in education. The proposed new facilities will double the current teaching space and upskill future conservationists, students, veterinary practitioners, scientists and wildlife carers.

This new specialist hospital will also play a vital role in engaging the public in wildlife conservation by deeply engaging Taronga Zoo's visitors in previously ‘back of house’ activities including opportunities to view animal treatment, surgeries, and breeding centres.

The new Hospital will:

  • Increase capacity for wildlife treatment, rehabilitation and improved wildlife first response times
  • Increase space for training and educating 1,000s of veterinary professionals, volunteer wildlife carers and students
  • Increase space for quarantine and care of confiscated wildlife
  • Expand capacity for breeding endangered birds and mammals for release to the wild

Taronga Western Plains Wildlife Hospital, Dubbo

A regional hub for the treatment of Koalas, Platypus and arid birds like raptors. There is a desperate need for a rehabilitation flight tunnel facility to prepare birds for release.

High numbers of distressed and malnourished animals were treated during the summer of 2019/20, suffering from the impact of drought, including record numbers of Koalas.

The new Hospital will:

  • Increase capacity for wildlife treatment, rehabilitation and improved wildlife first response times
  • Expand capacity for breeding endangered birds and mammals for release to the wild
  • House specialised facilities for endangered arid birds, like raptors and other birds of prey
  • House scientific labs and a CryoDiversity Bank holding trillions of frozen cells from coral and endangered fauna, aiding reproductive biology and research

Reptile & Amphibian Conservation Centre

Bolstering reptile and amphibian species from the brink of extinction.

Taronga is a leader in reptile and amphibian conservation in Australia. We have brought back seven reptile and amphibian species from the brink of extinction.

The development of the new centre will allow Taronga to continue to lead the recovery of species that would otherwise be lost to future generations.  It will provide critical breeding space to support zoo-based conservation programs to ensure important species, such as Corroboree Frogs, are protected for decades to come.

The proposed centre will provide a new modern experience for guests to engage with reptiles and amphibians which will be designed with the latest best-practice standards for animal care and welfare. It will be an educational and multi-layered experience for guests that showcases the beauty and diversity of some of the most misunderstood and most imperilled creatures on the planet under threat, from climate change, disease and habitat modification.

The journey

Join us on this transformational journey.

The outcomes

By bringing together outcomes across five specialist pillars of impact, our expert team will remain a world-leader in wildlife care and veterinary services:

 

1. Rescue, Rehabilitation & Conservation

Some of Australia's most experienced wildlife veterinarians, veterinary nurses, pathologists and animal nutritionists bring expertise to Taronga's rescue, rehabilitation and conservation efforts. 

Taronga' Wildlife Hospitals will provide greater contribution to critical conservation breeding programs for endangered species including Regent Honeyeaters, Corroboree Frogs, Bellinger River Snapping Turtles and the Greater Bilby. 

New facilities will also improve the success rates of rehabilitation and release for priority species like Marine Turtles and Koalas.

2. Specialist Veterinary Teaching Hospitals

Education is integral to the role of Taronga's Wildlife Hospitals. Investing in people is a vital piece of the solution to the challenges facing wildlife.

The proposed new facilities will double the current teaching space and upskill future conservationists. A vision to share Taronga's expertise in wildlife treatment and veterinary care has led to the establishment of the following education programs for the benefit of students, veterinary practitioners and the general public of Australia.

3. Wildlife Disease Management & Research

Taronga operates the only dedicated in-house Wildlife Hospital laboratory in Australasia. This unique service with its dedicated laboratory staff means blood and faecal samples from sick animals can be immediately assessed while the animal is still under anaesthetic during initial veterinary examination.

Improving efficiencies saves lives. This quick turnaround for diagnosis places less stress on a potentially already traumatised animal. This is even more important when working with endangered species.

New facilities will provide greater space for vital research and equipment for sophisticated diagnostic techniques that support healthcare of recovery program species - particularly those planned for release to the wild. It will also increase capacity to respond to disease outbreaks and provide education and training for wildlife carers and veterinarians, who are often on the frontline of emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

4. Australian Biosecurity, Quarantine & Illegal Wildlife Trade

The illegal wildlife trade is worth over $20 billion - the 4th largest illegal trade, behind counterfeit goods, drugs and human trafficking. Taronga's Wildlife Hospitals work closesly with Autralian Border Force to care for seized animals while prosecutions take place. Taronga's experts are called upon by courts to provide witness statements concerning animal welfare and species identification.

New and expanded quarantine facilities will include important biosecurity upgrades and cater for the growing demand of rehabilitation and rehousing trafficked animals captured and confiscated through Australian Border Force and Wildlife Rescue Centres. 

5. Nutrition Centres

Taronga's Wildlife Nutrition Centres will undergo significant expansion to cater to increased demand for services such as education, food preparation and consulting to wildlife groups and government.

Both Wildlife Hospitals will include improved and expanded facilities for nutrition services, an area Taronga is leading in the region.

The Wildlife Nutrition Centre will also cater to the welfare of Taronga's 5,000+ Zoo animals through top quality nutritional care.

The goal

You are invited to be part of the most ambitious project for Australian wildlife in Taronga's history. 

Two world-class Wildlife Hospitals in Sydney and Dubbo and a state-of-the-art Reptile & Amphibian Conservation Centre at taronga Zoo Sydney will cost $80.7 million.

The impact of your investment will directly save species from extinction and will contribute to:

  • Improved rehabilitation facilities including more capacity for Marine Turtles and Koalas and a rehabilitation flight tunnel for birds
  • Increased capacity for treatment
  • Training and upskilling 1,000s of veterinary professionals, students and volunteer wildlife carers
  • Faster response time and increased capacity to investigate growing number of wildlife disease outbreaks
  • Increased space for quarantine for wildlife seized from the illegal wildlife trade
  • Modern specialist equipment to enhance diagnostic capability and reduce time to determine a diagnosis
  • Increased capacity for endangered species breeding programs
  • Australia's first purpose-built wildlife nutrition centre
  • Expansion of recovery work to support reptile and amphibian species on the brink of extinction

Taronga's Wild Futures project will future-proof Australia's wildlife and you can help us on this journey.

Every donation makes a difference.
 

DONATE NOW

The history

Taronga’s current Wildlife Hospitals were built in the 1970’s and admit 1,500 sick, injured or displaced animals each year including over 220 reptiles confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade. Taronga is proud to bring together a world-class multidisciplinary team delivering veterinary, pathology, conservation biology, animal behaviour, breeding and nutrition expertise.

Dr Larry Vogelnest and team assessing a penguin.
Dr Larry Vogelnest and team assessing a penguin.
Dr Frances Hulst assesses a possum.
Dr Frances Hulst assesses a possum.
A wildlife hospital resident is weighed.
A wildlife hospital resident is weighed.
Possums receiving care.
Possums receiving care.

The stories

Sydney Wildlife Hospital Stories

Taronga's Wildlife Hospital in Sydney is rescuing, rehabilitating, recovering and rewilding animals every day, these are the inspiring stories.

Dubbo Wildlife Hospital Stories

Taronga Western Plains Zoo's Wildlife Hospital in Dubbo is rescuing, rehabilitating, recovering and rewilding animals every day, these are the inspiring stories.