Libby has been a keeper and vet nurse at Taronga for over 20 years, during which she has worked with a wide variety of animals across the zoo from enormous hippos to tiny little sugar gliders.
As Manager of Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital, Libby helps take care of sick or injured animals from the Zoo’s population, as well as many species of Australian native fauna that are brought into the hospital by members of the public. These animals, including sea turtles, birds of prey and seals, are often sick, injured or orphaned.
One of Libby’s favourite parts of her role is being able to release rehabilitated wildlife. Some animals arrive at the hospital with severe injuries and require weeks of intensive care and nursing and months of physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Seeing them survive and be released into the wild is a highlight for the entire team.
Libby also specialises in marine wildlife and rehabilitation techniques and is a member of the International Response Team for Oiled Wildlife. She has travelled to Malaysia, South Africa, New Zealand and Spain to help in emergency oil spills, treating and rehabilitating affected wildlife. In the Cape town oil spill in South Africa, Libby and her team had 18,000 birds in their care and they helped return over 500 rehabilitated penguins back into the wild.
“Working in the Wildlife Hospital is great because we work with so many different species. I love the fact that every day is different and we do not know what animals will be arriving for emergency care or requiring assistance in the zoo grounds on any given day. The fact that we can be feeding a tiny rainforest frog one minute and then treating a huge Kodiak bear the next makes me realise that I am very privileged.”