When the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, died a couple of years back, after being stung by a stingray, our obituary post sparked off a torrent of views for and against Steve's style of wildlife conservation. Let's see how we fare this time?
Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, the organisation set up by Steve Irwin and his family, is currently building what is described as the "world's largest wildlife hospital" next door to Australia Zoo in Queensland. Which is kinda cool on its own. But we also like that it will be housed in "one of the biggest strawbale constructions in the world."
When completed later this year is will be about 1,300 square metres is area. The external walls will be of strawbale, protected by three coats of lime render. Internal walls of rammed earth. Recycled flooring, natural paints and finishes, water recycling, motion sensor lighting, and solar power help round out the eco story.
The hospital itself, designed by WD Architects, will include facilities such as two treatment rooms, separate intensive care units for mammals, birds and reptiles, a CAT scan room, and an ambulance bay. Currently they receive 100 wildlife emergency calls every day (70% of patients are victims of car accidents or domestic pet attacks), with up to 30 different species are admitted daily. In all, about 6,000 animals are treated each year by 20 full-time staff and 80 volunteers.
This new hospital is expected to give the vets about seven times the space they used to work in and allow them to double their capacity to serve wildlife patients. Visitors will be able to see operations performed live through viewing windows, of by webcam internet feed. See more detail on the project here. (PDF)
Bindi Irwin (centre) posing with strawbale workers. Pix courtesy of Frank Thomas
Australian Wildlife Hospital, via tip from Frank Thomas of Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow, Straw Bale Construction (who is building and rendering the hospital's strawbale walls and has more pix)
Disclosure: This writer and Frank Thomas once both attended the same strawbale construction course, over a decade ago.