Currumbin Wildlife hospital vet nurse Shelley Davis attempts to remove oil from the bird’s ruined feathers.
Currumbin Wildlife hospital vet nurse Shelley Davis attempts to remove oil from the bird’s ruined feathers. John Gass

Help for oil-laden peewee

PEEWEES are notorious for fighting their own reflection, but this feathered character took on a fight it could never win.

The small bird was delivered to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital after becoming submerged in a barrel of sump oil at an Murwillumbah industrial estate on Wednesday.

The damaged feathers will need to be bathed up to six times a day, and it now faces months in care while its feathers rejuvenate and rid the toxic substance.

"It will be the hospital for at least two weeks, before transitioning into care" vet Camille Alexandra said.

The damage was so bad the peewee will need to remain with a wildlife carer until it sheds and grows new feathers.

More than 6500 of animals that find their way into the Wildlife Hospital each year.

Senior vet Michael Pyne said the hospital was struggling to keep up with the growing numbers of injured wildlife.

"This little bird is going to cost around $75 to treat each day," he said.

The hospital is $120, 000 short of the much publicised $300, 000 required to maintain standards of care.

"Every $50 that we get helps us save another life," Mr Pyne said.


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