Dunedin wildlife hospital admits first patients

A South Island wildlife hospital officially opened its doors yesterday and is already treating two patients, with preparations underway for more. 

The newly-opened facility is based at Dunedin's Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing and will be able to treat up to 500 sick and injured native animals each year.

Injured yellow eyed penguins. Source: Wildlife Hospital - Dunedin

Within 30 minutes of opening on Monday the first two patients were admitted, two adult yellow-eyed penguin that had injuries consistent with barracouta bites, Wildlife Hospital spokesperson, Jordana Whyte told 1 NEWS.

Both birds were found in the Caitlins by a yellow-eyed penguin researcher and will undergo surgery this week to clean and fix the bite wounds.

It's expected the penguins will make a full recovery and will hopefully be able to get back into the wild soon.

This morning Ms Whyte said Dr Lisa Argilla is preparing for another patient in the hospital, a takahe picked up by the Department of Conservation.

The bird's injury or illness is not yet known.

The future of the wildlife hospital is dependent on continuous donations from the public as well as corporate sponsorship.

Once the hospital is well established Ms Whyte hopes they will be able to receive funding to help with operation costs.