About Hospital

Ireland’s first, purpose built: Wildlife Rehabilitation & Teaching Hospital - to save the lives of thousands of sick and orphaned wild animals in Ireland every year


The Vision

Join us in raising 3 million Euro to make this project a reality!

The new Wildlife Hospital will have:

  • The facility, expertise and capacity to care for and rehabilitate all native wildlife species.
  • A visitor and an education centre with shop, café, playground and exhibition area.
  • Paid staff to look after the hospital, animals, and provide on-site education and training.
  • Onsite accommodation for up to sixteen International volunteers / interns, and researchers.
  • Support system in place to facilitate involvement of the local community and social partner clients with a workshop for both facility maintenance and construction of wildlife related items:- bird boxes, hedgehog houses, animal enclosures.
  • Fully equipped library, laboratory, offices, store rooms, multi-purpose meeting and classrooms, and an audio-visual conference room for hosting large events.
  • Accommodation to house all the wildlife undergoing rehabilitation:- aviaries, barns, enclosures, pools ect!
  • Viewing facilities for visitors:- hides, covered walkways, discreet one way glass viewing areas, CCTV and more.
  • Professionally landscaped grounds:- nature trails, sensory garden, reedbeds, wildflower meadow.

The Hospital

World-class Wildlife Treatment

The Wildlife Hospital will house a wildlife treatment and operating room, isolation wards, an intensive care unit, and recovery rooms / enclosures providing specialised veterinary care for all the animals that are brought into the hospital. The various recovery areas will be designed with proper regard to the very different requirements of different species of wildlife.

The Wildlife Hospital will be a centre of excellence, providing educational opportunities for veterinary students and veterinary nursing students, and wildlife rehabilitators working in other areas of the country. This increased professionalism in wildlife care and rehabilitation will give injured animals the best chance of survival once released back into the wild. This, in turn, ensures they will go on to breed and contribute to the success of their species’ population.

Causalities

There will be no permanent resident non-releasable wildlife casualties kept at the Hospital. Each patient will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and a decision made on whether to treat and release, to euthanase, or to re-locate the animal for further recuperation based on providing the best outcome for the individual.
There will be fluctuations in numbers of wildlife species in the facility throughout the year based on the life cycles of the animals themselves. With the differences in individual’s recovery rates, it is anticipated that there will be animals in care year round.

Capacity

All wildlife species in need of attention will be taken in by the Hospital.
If total animal capacity is reached then any subsequent casualties will be referred to other rehabilitators until such time as the Hospital is capable of accommodating them.
A network of charitable and state agencies, plus the Hospital’s volunteers, will facilitate the safe transport of wildlife casualties to the Hospital.

Staff

The Hospital will be run initially by five paid staff; a Hospital Manager, an Office Manager, a Veterinary Nurse Animal Manager, Assistant Animal Manager, and an Education Officer.

A Construction / Maintenance Technician will be employed on a part time basis.
Additional staff will be employed as finances allow.

Volunteers

The paid staff will be supplemented by up to sixteen full-time volunteers, and additional part time volunteers. There will be onsite accommodation for the full-time interns / volunteers.


The Visitors

Education

The Hospital will have a strong educational element in order to nurture students’ respect for wildlife, enhance their future employment opportunities, and provide the highest standards of rehabilitation care for the wildlife casualties.
The education will be provided both through practical work in the Hospital setting, and through courses, lectures and training workshops.

Among other things, the Hospital will be able to provide a City & Guilds Diploma programme, International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council accredited Courses, extramural work experience placements for veterinary students and veterinary nursing students, transition year work experience placements, Wild Animal Management module for the Fetac Level 6 Animal Science Course, internships for Masters students, Continuing Veterinary Education opportunities for veterinary professionals, and animal care apprenticeships.
A wildlife educational programme is planned which will directly link to the Irish school curriculum.

Science and Conservation

Thousands of rehabilitated wildlife casualties and captive-reared orphans are released back to the wild each year. Release is often equated with success and very little is known about the post-release survival of rehabilitated wildlife.
Strong emphasis will be placed on post release monitoring and scientific study in order to validate the rehabilitation of wild animals and to gain insights into the animals’ lives that may necessitate change in rehabilitation techniques / procedures to improve post release success rates.
Research and Development will be undertaken by students, researchers, and work experience applicants.

Community Engagement

At the heart of the Hospital project is the Social Enterprise Partnership (SEP) theme; the Hospital will be run as a SEP, and as such WRI has contacted organisations that empower young people and at-risk groups in society, who WRI believe could also benefit from the creation of this Hospital and who may wish to form a social partnership with WRI.

WRI believes that social partnership is an extremely valuable aspect to this project and will be extremely rewarding for all participating organisations; volunteering with animals in a natural setting has been proven to significantly promote social, economic, psychological, spiritual and physical wellbeing.

This project, the first of its kind in the Republic of Ireland, will offer these young people the opportunity to care for injured animals in return for their own educational advancement and personal development.

It is anticipated that the Wildlife Hospital will also provide a social hub for the local community. We see many of our general facilities being usable by the surrounding community and contributing to the diversity and amenity of the neighbouring area.

Visitor Experience

We want the visitor experience to be exciting, fun, educational !

We will offer the visitors the opportunity:

  • to learn all about wildlife rehabilitation through real life stories from the patients and vets themselves.
  • using multi-media to see wildlife rescues and lifesaving operations
  • to observe recuperating patients without intrusion through the use of specially designed hides, one-way viewing areas, natural barriers, and CCTV. Through astutely designed facilities, the visitor/wildlife watcher slows down and quietly discovers a wild animal without altering the animal’s behaviour. As a result of this rewarding experience, the visitor gets to connect with wildlife in a positive way, and gains a greater appreciation of the natural world.
  • to enjoy a different experience on each visit as the patients in the hospital change as they recover and are released and as the patient species types change with the changing seasons of the year.
  • to discover what we do, and what you can do to help conserve Ireland’s native species.

Shop, Cafe and Playground

The shop will stock nature themed items for youngsters and adults alike.
The café will be leased to a suitable local company giving employment to the local community. It will serve healthy naturally raised foods, supporting the local community’s sustainability through the use of food from independent local farmers who share our vision about the environment and the philosophy of eating healthy safe foods.
The playground will be an outdoor natural adventure area designed to be a safe, fun and educational play area for children.


Facilities

Buildings & enclosures Details
Animal Manager
accommodation
House – kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom
Volunteer accommodation House – kitchen, bathrooms, living room, utility room, bedrooms
Workshop & storage room Workshop & storage room
Hospital barn Main building – waiting room, office, staff room, triage room, ICU, lab/equipment store room, scrub room, surgery, treatment room, isolation room, toilets, laundry, kitchen, food store, bird room, mammal room, baby bird room, baby mammal room
Large mammal barn Kennels – walk-in kennels, animal kitchen, store room
Aviaries Aviaries of various sizes, separated by a covered walkway/ double door entry
Bat flight cage Outdoor fine mesh aviary
Waterfowl enclosures Enclosures with small pools, enclosure with lake that is enclosed with double doors between them for secure entry
Fox, badger, otter enclosures Secure enclosures with underwiring and overhang, containing various environmental enrichment items
Deer sheds & paddock Fawn enclosures, deer paddock with double doors between them
Hedgehog overwintering Enclosure with sleeping and exercise area
Additional animal barn Barn – kitchen, store room, more kennels/cages, oiled bird facility
Seal kennels Row of outdoor runs, covered area at one end, gate at the other, solid removable dividers between runs to enlarge as required
Medium size seal pool Shallow pool with natural filtration system and submersible pump
Large pre-release seal pool Deep pool with natural filtration system and submersible pump
Visitor centre Building with shop, exhibition area, office, meeting point (for school groups to gather)
Education centre Building with library, office, store room, lab, class room, conference room; for use by staff, volunteers, and local community groups, for courses, classes, meetings etc
Café Café (for visitors)
Wildlife outdoor education Sculptures, tree-bog, reed beds, woodland walks, forest garden, nature trail…
Visitor viewing facilities Including natural barriers, hides, remote cameras, boardwalks and discovery trails
Playground Outdoor natural adventure area designed to be safe, fun and educational

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