The Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital (BBWH) has announced that its founding patron is Biggy Pop, the cockatoo son of Stooges singer Iggy Pop.
Biggy issued a statement to express his distress about the deaths of millions of animals in a shocking bushfire season, and how he flew at the opportunity to help.
“That really horrified me,” he said.
“I heard about the team of Australian veterinarians building Australia’s largest mobile wildlife hospital and I thought ‘that is such a brilliant idea’.
“So, when they asked if I would be their founding patron, I thought ‘yeah, I’d love to connect with my bird sisters and brothers in the magical land of Oz’.”
The Byron Bay-based mobile facility will include Bree Talbot, who comes to the BBWH from the University of Sydney’s Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital where she specialised in the care of exotic pets such as koalas, wombats, reptiles and various bird species.
Talbot is a member and examiner of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in unusual pet medicine and surgery.
“I’m really looking forward to joining such an experienced team of specialist wildlife veterinarians committed to giving vulnerable wildlife all the treatment they need to get them back into the wild where they belong,” she said.
The not-for-profit hospital will operate from a custom-built 14.4 metre semi-trailer.
The vehicle will be unveiled in late November, at which point it will be able to respond swiftly to wildlife in crisis around the country and be the precursor to a permanent hospital on a 100-acre site in the area.
The BBWH team will be based at the Lennox Head Vet Clinic until the new location is constructed.
Iggy Pop said he found Biggy around 12 years ago, stuffed alongside some chickens into a roadside vendor’s cage.
“He seemed to be in peril of a bad future,” Pop said.
“So we decided to take care of him, responsibly.
“He gets and gives a lot of love.”
While Biggy and Iggy are holed-up near Miami, Florida, they will be spreading the word about the BBWH via Biggy’s Instagram account.
Biggy Pop is a Moluccan cockatoo, which are endemic to the South Moluccas in eastern Indonesia.