Interesting Case Blog

Thursday, 7 January 2016 - 10:07am

Registry case ID TARZ-10437.1

Emaciated adult male fur seal (Image by Leesa Pratt, ORRCA)

We would like to thank ORRCA for their continued vigilance in observing and assisting marine mammals on the NSW coastline and for often be

ing the first line of enquiry for the public regarding these animals.  We would also like to thank the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the RSPCA, and veterinarians, who are often called upon to make the difficult decisions regarding injured marine life.  Thanks also to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for their continued support so that we can all continue to work together for the management and care of these species. 

Image: Emaciated adult male fur seal (Image by Leesa Pratt, ORRCA)

Monday, 25 May 2015 - 4:55pm

Registry case number TARZ-10121_1 (Pathologist: Dr Lydia Tong)

Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa) CASE HISTORY: 

This aged (25 years), captive, male lizard (weight 623 g) was found to have an oral mass on the right side of the maxilla resulting in tooth displacement. When touched, teeth easily fell out. The mass was reported to have developed within a two week period. Two weeks prior, the shingleback was reported to develop a weeping eye and display rapid breathing after a short period of handling. The animal had a history of conjunctival swelling and depression.

Monday, 4 May 2015 - 6:07pm

Registry Case ID TARZ-6926.1 (Prosector: Jane Hall, Pathologist: Dr Cheryl Sangster)

Emaciated brushtail possum with lymphosarcomaCASE HISTORY:  

An adult, female brushtail possum (weight 2.456 kg) was rescued from a residential laundry by WIRES and brought to Taronga Wildlife Hospital for examination. The possum had been living in the laundry for 1 month and residents had been feeding it cat food, milk, bread and some fruit.  It had a wound to the right fore leg and was having trouble breathing.  Fur was missing over most of the body and tail. The possum was euthanased due to poor prognosis for survival.


Wednesday, 26 March 2014 - 2:23pm

Registry case number TARZ-9624.1

Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) CASE HISTORY

The sub-adult, male hawksbill turtle was found dead on Shellharbour beach.  The person who found the animal poured water over its head and it moved its flippers, but was profoundly weak and lethargic.  The animal was transported to Taronga Wildlife Hospital where it was found to have erythematous skin, extensive carapace algae, numerous erosions on its plastron and large skin erosion on the top of its head.  The turtle was treated with fluids, B vitamins and fortum, but was found dead the next morning.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 - 10:27am

Registry Case Number TARZ-9449.1

Brown Antechinus (Antechinus stuartii) An adult male Antechinus (weight 4.3g) was captured overnight in an Elliott trap in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park during annual, routine wildlife trapping surveys.  When found at approximately 0550 the animal appeared lethargic.  It was handled to determine sex and condition.  The animal was alive but not reactive enough to release.  It was placed inside a cotton bag and then inside a shirt pocket.  The animal travelled this way until the completion of checking all traps in the Bobbin Head section of the survey.  The animal was then re assessed regularly over the next 3 hours of the survey.  The animal died at approx 0845.

Monday, 6 January 2014 - 12:27pm

Registry Case Number TARZ-9586.1Pied Currawong (Strepera versicolour)


This male nestling (weight 217g) bird was found on the ground in the middle of a street in Mosman, NSW.  Parents around, but rescuer concerned this bird would end up on the road again.  The bird was euthanased.

Monday, 16 December 2013 - 1:26pm

Registry case number TARZ_9585.1Juvenile fledgling Australian Magpie


Juvenile fledgling magpies from the Nowra region in rehabilitation with experienced carers showing sudden onset inappetence, lethargy and death. All animals being reported with heavy gape worm loads. Some animals appear to recover slowly from the lethargy and begin to gain weight again but die suddenly, while others experience sudden onset anorexia and weight loss before being found dead, despite supportive care.

3 animals submitted live for blood collection and euthanasia. Multiple animals submitted fresh dead or frozen.


This individual entered care 15/10/13 and was noted to have heavy gape worm burden - treated with removal of the gape worms by hand, and oral Ivermectin.  Sudden onset weakness, difficulty eating and weight loss.  Euthanasia elected due to poor condition, history of poor recovery for affected birds and mortality event investigation.

Thursday, 31 October 2013 - 2:26pm

Registry Case # TARZ-9403.1Green Turtle


The animal was found floating and unable to swim at Bundeena, NSW. It was taken into care but died overnight.

Thursday, 22 August 2013 - 12:52pm

Unexplained mortalities of Australian Pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatusAustralian Pelican) and Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) at a rookery on the NSW Central Coast (Registry case number TARZ9235).


An adult female Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) (weight 5.9 kg) was found 24-3-13 on the edge of Rookery Island weak with paralysis of the nictitating membrane and red-brown diarrhoea.  The bird was tube fed with SparkTM and a small amount of activated charcoal, and treated with Trivetrin and a small amount of metacam.  The bird improved and could lift its head, vocalise and today is more alert, but there is blood in the faeces and more watery faeces.

On examination at Taronga Wildlife Hospital 27-3-13 the bird was well hydrated, in good body condition, but extremely weak.  The bird rested on its chest with its head vertical but resting on its tip.  When lifted, the wings and legs were held tight to the body, but the feet were clenched.  There was a positive withdrawal reflex of both feet, and when urged, the pelican could reposition its feel to be flat. The nictitating membrane was protruding slightly and had a slight tremor.  After blood was collected and photographs taken, euthanasia was elected to try to elucidate the health problems in the population.

Friday, 5 July 2013 - 12:23pm

Registry Case Number TARZ-9216.1, kindly contributed by Drs James Harris, Graeme Knowles and Tony Ross

Tiger Snake (Image: Museum Victoria)History: A female tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) with a palpable mass in its distal coelom was presented to a local veterinarian. The snake had been anorexic for the past 50 days and an intestinal obstruction with partially digested food was suspected. A mass was manually expelled through the vent through the application of digital pressure. The mass was fixed in formalin and submitted for histopathology for identification.