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Birds battered onto beaches recovering at animal hospital

Anna Jackso and Patricia Swift with some of the injured birds at Currumbin Wildlife Park animal hospital.
Anna Jackso and Patricia Swift with some of the injured birds at Currumbin Wildlife Park animal hospital. John Gass

SEAFARING birds were battered onto beaches through the recent storms, suffering exhaustion as they were forced off course.

With 160 brought to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Tuesday and a further 70 Wednesday, staff members at the centre's animal hospital know only too well the meaning of exhaustion.

"Cyclone Oswald has certainly taken its toll," vet nurse Patricia Swift said.

"We have never seen so many in one hit."

Birds that never touch land under normal conditions are now nestled at the hospital as they regain their strength for flight.

Boobies, terns and shear waters have been hit hardest and look bedraggled and pathetic as they try to preen their feathers for their continued journeys.

"It has been an exhausting time," Ms Swift said.

"We have worked 12-hour shifts at times.

"It's rewarding, but very challenging work."

Ms Swift said the public had been 'very patient' as they brought the storm victims in.

The hospital had to close on Monday as conditions proved to be too dangerous.

Trees were falling as the winds reached peak speeds through the hospital.

On Tuesday, staff worked without power to tend and monitor their patients.

Over the next few weeks, these 'storm birds' will be nursed back to full strength and then released.

Topics:  currumbin, hospital, sanctuary, wildlife


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