New Fyshwick centre to help treat Canberra's injured wildlife

With the number of injured wildlife on the rise, ACT Wildlife has opened a centre where the public can take injured animals to be looked after.

ACT Wildlife attributes the rise in numbers of injured animals to a hotter climate and Canberra's building boom.

ACT Wildlife have recieved funding and resource from the ACT government to open a clinic in Fyshwick where the public can bring general wildlife for an assessment. Photo: Jamila Toderas

ACT Wildlife have recieved funding and resource from the ACT government to open a clinic in Fyshwick where the public can bring general wildlife for an assessment. Photo: Jamila Toderas

The organisation's vice president, Martin Lind, said Canberrans were also becoming more aware of its services as its volunteer base expanded.

"The need has driven the growth in the organisation," Mr Lind said.

Now a new office in Fyshwick off Dairy Road will provide a centralised point for the public to bring injured wildlife. Staff can assess them, monitor and pass them on for release.

"In the past that's all been going on in the background around Canberra in people's homes and backyards," Mr Lind said.

A Brushtail Possum. Photo: Jamila Toderas

A Brushtail Possum. Photo: Jamila Toderas

But despite the new home, Mr Lind said resources were limited. They could not pay staff to monitor the centre overnight, meaning animals would still need to be taken elsewhere for rehabilitation.

They could only keep limited medication on site and can't pay a veterinarian to staff the clinic full time.

Any medical treatment the animals needed would mean they were treated by vets across the city on a voluntary basis.

Mr Lind said the new building would provide a central point for members, make it easier for the public to bring injured animals to them, and make it easier for trained staff to prepare the animal for release into the wild.

A turtle taken to the shelter. Photo: Jamila Toderas

A turtle taken to the shelter. Photo: Jamila Toderas

The new building has places for different kinds of wildlife, including cooler areas for turtles and a flight cage for birds.

"We've got a massively growing population of volunteers," Mr Lind said. There were now 75.

The biggest rise in animals had been in the number of wombats brought in.

Wombat coordinator Lindy Butcher blamed the rise on the hot and dry conditions gripping Canberra as well as new developments on the city's fringes.

A flying fox taken for assessment. Photo: Jamila Toderas

A flying fox taken for assessment. Photo: Jamila Toderas

"Several have come from [Denman Prospect]. Their habitat has been disturbed by the new buildings," Ms Butcher said.

Volunteers are still working rehabilitating from home. Ms Butcher is caring for two baby wombats at the moment.

"I only took on the job because I thought one wombat would be a piece of cake," Ms Butcher said.

That was three years ago, since then she has cared for 25 wombats.

The clinic is in Fyshwick. Photo: Jamila Toderas

The clinic is in Fyshwick. Photo: Jamila Toderas

"It would be nice to have our own clinic and vet. At the moment we rely on the good will of local vets," Ms Butcher said.

"We need someone who can look for grants and regular funding for us. Everybody's so busy caring."

The organisation treated 1592 animals in 2018, including wombats, native birds, possums, wallabies and even lizards.

ACT Wildlife isn't able to treat injured kangaroos - but it can take joeys - or snakes.

Environment Minister Mick Gentleman said the government had provided $83,000 to build the new office and would provide $10,000 a year to help run the group.