Insurer RACQ has urged its staff and members to donate vital funds to help build Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital's first Koala Intensive Care Unit (KICU), amid Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.
“Bushfires here and interstate continue to cause widespread devastation to our native wildlife, including koalas – that’s why we’re so proud to support the development of this much-needed facility,” said Glenn Toms, RACQ acting group CEO. “Over the next month, money raised will go towards bringing the KICU to life and aid in the recovery and futureproofing of Queensland’s koala population, which is at risk of extinction.”
The donation drive will run through until the end of February and has been kickstarted with a $20,000 donation from RACQ.
Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital cares for up to 800 sick and injured koalas each year.
“This climate-controlled KICU facility will ensure our specialist veterinarians and nurses can work around the clock to treat seriously ill koalas,” Terri Irwin said. “A facility like this allows the hospital to respond to emergency disasters such as the devastating bushfires, but also allows us to care for the ever-increasing number of koalas admitted from southeast Queensland.”
The initiative is part of RACQ’s longstanding relationship with the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors and Australia Zoo. RACQ has provided the zoo’s wildlife rescue unit with specialty wildlife rescue vehicles since 2014.