Earlier this year, the NSW Northern Rivers region was hit by record floods, causing the Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital to hit capacity after an influx of wildlife patients. As the full impact of the flooding disaster on the local environment becomes clear, it is expected there will continue to be a steady increase in wildlife patients.

The Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital is the only full-service wildlife hospital operating in the region, with an expert veterinary team providing free treatment for all injured and orphaned wildlife.

The dedicated team of wildlife veterinarians and nurses has been working tirelessly to keep the hospital operational, and to meet additional demand for services since the floods first impacted the region.

Through its Flood Relief Fund program, Commonwealth Bank donated $10,000 to the Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, helping the facility cover one month of the critical additional services it is providing in response to the crisis.

The Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital is one of more than 200 community organisations to receive a grant through the CommBank Flood Relief Fund, which is helping local communities recover and rebuild following the devastating floods.

Dr Chantal Whitten, a veterinarian at the Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, said the funding will help the hospital treat as many injured and orphaned wildlife as possible as the flood recovery ramps up and more animals are discovered.

“We are thankful for the support of organisations like the Commonwealth Bank as we rely on the generosity of donors to continue delivering life-saving services to wildlife who would otherwise perish,” she said.

“Injured and exhausted wildlife are arriving at our hospital daily after being discovered far away from their usual habitats, under flood debris and inside flood affected homes. Our vet team is treating wildlife who are simply exhausted. They all need expert care to recover before they can be successfully released back into the wild.

“There are incredibly vulnerable species like our precious koalas which are already considered endangered. Being able to save as much wildlife as we can will provide hope for our community and help to preserve the incredible biodiversity of the NSW Northern Rivers region.”

The Northern Rivers region is one of the most biodiverse in the country, meaning that there is a huge amount of animals, plants and organisms that live and work together in the local ecosystem.

The recent floods have destroyed natural habitats and compromised food sources and water quality for local wildlife, which will take months, and in some cases years, to recover.