The Nest Te Kōhanga is our award-winning animal hospital and centre for native wildlife, and the largest and most ambitious project in Wellington Zoo’s history.

This amazing facility contains seven rehabilitation rooms, a custom-built salt water pool, and state-of-the-art equipment – all of which enable our expert Veterinary Team to treat hundreds of sick and injured native wildlife patients each year.

Saving native wildlife

Saving native wildlife

The work we do at The Nest Te Kōhanga is Wellington Zoo’s biggest contribution to saving animals in the wild.

Since its opening, our dedicated Veterinary Team has treated over 3,400 sick and injured native wildlife patients – helping threatened native species, and raising awareness of the challenges they face in the wild.

These patients are brought to us by the SPCA, the Department of Conservation, Zealandia and local members of the community. Their trust in us shows their recognition of The Nest Te Kōhanga as the hub for native wildlife care in the Wellington region.

Notable patients over the years have included ‘Happy Feet’ the Emperor Penguin, Manukura the white Kiwi, Stella the Kākāpō chick, a Tuatara with a broken tail which required six month of rehabilitation and a critically endangered Chatham Island Taiko chick.

Native species make up at least 70% of our patients at The Nest Te Kōhanga. The cost of treating these precious animals is over $200,000 a year.

We’d love your help to keep giving New Zealand’s wildlife a future. Donate to The Nest Te Kōhanga.

Vets care for a Haast Tokoeka Kiwi at The Nest Te Kōhanga

Training wildlife veterinarians

The Nest Te Kōhanga helps develop New Zealand’s next generation of wildlife veterinarians. Since 2007 we’ve worked in partnership with the Massey University on the Masterate Programme in Zoo Animal and Wildlife Health, hosting four qualified vets every year to complete their Masterate and get hands on experience with injured wildlife.

Along with these residents, The Nest Te Kōhanga also provides a learning base for undergraduate veterinary, veterinary nurse and biological sciences students.

Training with Veterinary Resident

If you find injured wildlife

Here’s where you come in! 

If you spot a sick or injured animal in the wild, here’s how you can play your part to help:

If it’s a native species, please call the Department of Conservation (DOC) in the first instance on 0800 362 468. 

If DOC suggests the animal requires treatment, please bring the injured native animal to the Zoo’s front entrance. 

Our Visitor Advisors will direct you straight to The Nest Te Kōhanga, where someone from the Veterinary Team will see what we can do to help the animal.

For non-native species, call the Wellington SPCA on (04) 389 8044 to find out ways that you can help.

Be a responsible pet owner

Want to look after native wildlife? This can be as simple as being a responsible pet owner.

Meow! While they’re great companion animals, cats are introduced mammals that can do an awful lot of damage to our native birds, reptiles and bugs. It’s easy peasy to keep our wildlife safe. Keep your cat indoors at night (this is better for your cat too) and make sure your cat is desexed.

Woof! Dogs love to explore, and they have a great sense of smell. When they’re off leash, dogs are one of the major threats to the survival of many of our native species. Even your lazy old Labrador can still create some real damage real fast if they come across a bird that’s in the wrong place in the wrong time. So it’s up to dog owners to keep them away from native birds like Kororā on the coast and Kiwi in the bush. Help protect wildlife simply by keeping your dog on a lead when you’re out and about.

Support The Nest Te Kōhanga

Make a donation to help us save native wildlife

Donate now