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Successful Penguin Hospital

Media release – Otago Polytechnic

For immediate release, Thursday March 16, 2017

Successful Penguin Hospital

The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust is celebrating the success of its temporary Penguin Hospital this summer.

The pop-up hospital, funded by the Trust and housed at Otago Polytechnic for the last nine weeks, will close tomorrow. In that time, wildlife vet, Lisa Argilla, has 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.

Sue Murray, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust General Manager, is delighted with the hospital’s outcome.

“We normally have to send injured yellow-eyed penguins to the North Island. One of the main problems faced is infection. By having immediate treatment, we’ve been able to save more birds. Our members helped fund this project, so it’s great to report on its success” says Mrs Murray.

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.”


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