Youngsters get involved in wildlife recovery

News stories

24th June, 2016

Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School’s Hayley Stewart attended the xrays of a morepork at Massey University’s Wildbase Hospital recently. Hayley is Manawatu MoreFM’s Wildbase Recovery Junior Journo. Her role involves reporting on the morepork’s recovery from a broken foot, as well as raising awareness for the national wildlife rehabilitation.

Mike West in the Morning’s Gareth Pringle, Johnelle Hosking, and Mike West first met the morepork during their own Wildbase Hospital visit. The morepork, named Nightshade by a MoreFM listener, was brought in by a member of the public who had unfortunately struck the native owl with her car near Levin. Upon full bloods and radiographs the bird was found to have a fracture to its left foot. The bones have been strapped into place and the bird has been on cage rest for a few weeks. Thursday’s xrays are to ensure the break is healing well, and that the bird is well enough for rehabilitation.

Once established, patients such as Nightshade will be transferred to Wildbase Recovery at this stage. Set in Palmerston North’s Victoria Esplanade, Wildbase Recovery will provide 14 purpose-built rehabilitation aviaries and Massey University’s world-class care for native wildlife to fully recuperate before their release. In this morepork’s case, rehabilitation will take approximately five to six weeks before the bird is returned to the wild in Levin.

Hayley is just one of many local school students helping to raise awareness and funds for Wildbase Recovery. Last weekend, Oscar Stephens ran a lemonade stall outside his house, collecting $106.06 in donations for the facility.

At the same time as Hayley’s visit to Wildbase Hospital, Mike West in the Morning team called into Tiritea School. There they were presented with $240 in donations from the school’s children.

Tiritea School Principal, Glenys Edmonds says the school feels very connected to Wildbase and the wildlife they care for. Wildbase vet technician, Pauline Nijman, has presented to the school numerous times, and some children were fortunate to watch little blue penguins being bathed at Massey University after the Rena oil spill.

From a mini market with bird-themed games, to a coin trail, and gold coin donations, all of the children have been involved in fundraising in some way. “Our community is very happy to contribute to Wildbase Recovery, which will be an amazing project for our city, says Mrs Edmonds. “It will allow everyone to see animals that they may never get to in the wild.”

In addition to rehabilitation aviaries, Wildbase Recovery will include permanent inflight and breeding aviaries, alongside the Powerco Education Centre. Onsite and online, Wildbase Recovery will provide high quality interactive storytelling and learning experiences that link directly to the NZ School Curriculum and DOC’s national education strategy.

Wildbase Recovery is a collaboration between Palmerston North City Council and Massey University, with support from Department of Conservation, Rangitāne iwi, and Rotary and Lions Clubs. The Wildbase Recovery Community Trust tasked with raising the $5.69m needed to build the national wildlife recovery facility.

“Contributions from enterprising children such as Hayley, Oscar, and Tiritea School is clear evidence that we need to save our native species for the next generation to enjoy,” says Wildbase Recovery Community Trust Chair, Roger Kennedy. “Now is the time for everyone to get behind the project and make it a reality.”

The Trust has set itself the target of raising $700,000 by the 30th of July. Public donations can be made via the Wildbase Recovery Community Trust’s Givealittle page:

Watch Hayley’s video report here.

Read the Manawatu Standard’s story here.

get in touch

Wildbase Recovery Community Trust

P O Box 627
Palmerston North Central
Palmerston North 4440
New Zealand