Wires story
A Tawny Frog Mouth owl aided by WIRES in Corrimal last year

Out of date clinical stock to aid Illawarra’s injured wildlife

The Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) has donated clinical supplies to the WIRES Illawarra branch.

Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic restricted most clinical trial research with some stock seeing little use over the two-year period. Rather than it go to waste, the team saw an opportunity to give back.

“WIRES are an incredible volunteer-based organisation, we’re pleased to be able to support their wildlife rescue efforts in the Illawarra through the donation of clinical consumables,” said IHMRI Chief Operating Officer, Kara Lamond.

Donated items include PPE, syringes, bandages, towels, dressing, cannulas and IV fluids. These items are used to support a range of research studies performed within the facility, which has dedicated clinic rooms to facilitate drug and vaccine trials and a range of investigative studies.   

Heather Milroy, Chair of the WIRES Illawarra branch said these supplies would not only help the volunteers on the ground with wildlife rescues in the area but will also help the volunteers who provide short-term care for wildlife.

“PPE and towels are staples in our rescue kits and all members have these on hand in their home and cars. Most rescues involve using towels to catch wildlife and/or to line or cover their rescue crates to create a warm, dark and quiet space that minimises stress to the animal and makes emergency housing/transportation of the animal more comfortable,” said Ms Milroy.   

“The donated stock will also assist volunteer carers with hydrating, treating wounds, preventing disease transmission and housing wildlife that need rehabilitating before release back into the wild.”

WIRES Illawarra is run entirely by volunteers who provide 24-hour care 7 days a week to animals until release. It comprises of more than 150 members from Helensburgh to Gerringong and as far west as the Illawarra Escarpment.

In 2021, the Illawarra branch responded to approximately 6,300 rescues. Education Officer of the Illawarra WIRES branch, Alyce Mason explains that reasons for rescue vary.

“It can be due to loss of habitat or parents, motor vehicle or window collisions, injuries from domestic animals, sickness, poison, disease, extreme weather conditions, or entanglement in discarded rubbish, fencing or netting that is not wildlife friendly,” she said.

Ms Lamond encourages other businesses who may have out of date clinical consumables to consider donating them to organisations in need.

“Sometimes these items will go to waste but animal support services like WIRES can put them to good use to care for our injured wildlife,” she said.  

To learn more about some of the clinical trials currently running at IHMRI click here.

Media contact

Emily O’Keefe

t: 02 4221 3620

e: eokeefe@uow.edu.au

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