11 September 2009
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors' Australian Wildlife Hospital has received a donation of a freezer worth $10,000 from Quantum Scientific, which will aid important conservation research programs.
The Sanyo freezer, which reaches a temperature of minus 80 degrees Celsius, was delivered to the hospital by the team from Quantum Scientific and Managing Director, Derek Brown.
The freezer will assist the research of Professor Peter Timms and Professor Ken Beagley of Queensland University of Technology who are developing a vaccine against Chlamydia in koalas. Chlamydia in koalas is a significant cause of infertility, urinary tract infections and inflammation in the lining of the eye which often leads to blindness.
The donated freezer will enable researchers to store samples at minus 80 degree Celsius, as required for many biological samples.
The Australian Wildlife Hospital collaborates with a number of universities around Australia conducting valuable research on wildlife diseases and conservation. The hospital treats in excess of 6,000 wildlife patients each year, of which approximately 10% are koalas.
The SEQ koala population is suffering dramatic decline as a result of habitat loss and disease. The Australian Wildlife Hospital is a leading collaborator on projects with the Queensland University of Technology and others who are investigating koala diseases.
"There is still a lot to learn about the health of our native wildlife and considering we see such a large number of animals, we need to take full advantage of any samples we may be able to collect for research purposes, particularly disease research."
Dr Jon Hanger is a pioneer in the area of koala disease research and says the freezer will vastly improve the facility's ability to store research samples appropriately and support important research collaborations.
We are also calling on all Australians to help fund this research. The Australian Wildlife Hospital has the resources; all that is needed is the funding. Koala populations are declining at an alarming rate and therefore antidotes for koala diseases need to be found - and fast!
We need 6,000 Australians to become 'KOALA CRUSADERS'. Any donation over $80 receives a limited edition Koala Crusader key ring and certificate for their valuable contribution to koala research.
"We can choose do to nothing, or we, as a nation, can come together and help fund research to save the koala," stated Dr Hanger.
Individuals or business that would like to contribute to the Australian Wildlife Hospital's koala disease research fund and become a Koala Crusader may do so by:
Phoning Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Worldwide: 1800 334 350, or
Donate online - visit www.wildlifewarriors.org.au.
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