Wildlife Hospital Project

Irish Wildlife Rehabilitation and Teaching Hospital
Project Summary

The majority of people are unaware that there is no national organisation in Ireland with responsibility for the rescue of wildlife. Current provision is met by a small number of individuals and organisations in the voluntary sector that rescue/rehabilitate wildlife casualties. However, they are under resourced in terms of money, facilities and veterinary support and information sharing/networking has been poor.

Many other countries have a nationally coordinated approach to wildlife management and have an organisation that acts to provide this coordination. Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland (WRI) was established in 2010, with the aim of working for the general advancement of wildlife protection and rehabilitation in Ireland and to provide a hub to coordinate communication expertise and share expertise within the wildlife protection and conservation sector.

As the public profile of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation rises, so too does the number of wildlife casualties brought to small independent wildlife centres. There is now extreme financial pressure on these individuals given increased demands on increasingly inadequate resources. In addition, there are countless valuable research and educational opportunities being missed due to lack of resources.

The combination of circumstances demands the establishment of a self-sustaining National Wildlife Rehabilitation and Teaching Hospital in order to offer Irish wildlife and Irish society the opportunity to mutually benefit from a solution to this currently unsustainable situation.

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.

At a projected cost of development expected to be no more than €3 million, and intended to become self-funding in a short time frame, this new facility will be a major addition to the tourist attractions of the east coast of Ireland.

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, exhibition area, library, offices, store room, lab, classroom and conference room
  • Paid staff to look after the hospital, animals and provide on-site education and training, supplemented by International volunteers, interns, externs and social partner clients
  • Accommodation for up to sixteen volunteers and researchers

WRI is seeking government and EU funding, social partnership grant aid along with commercial and philanthropic support to develop this new and innovative project.


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Articles re proposed Wildlife Hospital:

Vets treat wild animals as well as domestic pets in Irish Independent

Plans to Establish Irelandís First Wildlife Rehabilitation and Teaching Hospital in


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