Wildbase Hospital is an animal hospital, based at Massey University in Palmerston North. It specialises in the treatment of native New Zealand animals and birds. It’s also a training hospital for veterinarians, nurses and wildlife technicians. A terrific kids’ book by Janet Hunt has recently been published about the work done there: How to Mend a Kea and other fabulous fix-it tales from Wildbase Hospital.
It’s a beautifully designed book, chock full of interesting information and appealing illustrations, and written in a clear, engaging style. That’s ‘Kea: Patient #78129’ on the cover, wrapped in a towel ready for his daily weigh-in. As Hunt explains, the patients are identified by their species and a number:
The Wildbase team tries very hard not to tame patients. It’s not good for the birds to rely on people because sooner or later they will be free, living healthy independent lives in the wild. They are not humans and that’s why they (mostly) don’t have names.”