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Taronga Wildlife Hospital


Taronga Zoo is one of two zoos managed by the Taronga Conservation Society Australia (TCSA), the other being Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Taronga Zoo has a large collection of both native and exotic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. The Zoo has a well established veterinary hospital and quarantine centre (Taronga Wildlife Hospital) which is responsible for the health and welfare of the Zoo's animal collection. There is a strong emphasis on preventative medicine. The Zoo's veterinarians also have a great deal of experience in reproductive management, physical and chemical restraint and clinical medicine of zoo and wild animals. The hospital also accepts sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife for treatment, rehabilitation and release back to the wild, and particpates in research and wildlife education programs.

The TCSA also runs the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health (managed by the Zoo's Registry Pathologist) and hosts the Australian Wildlife Network. Both departments provide a valuable resource for those interested in all aspects of wildlife health, disease surveillance and veterinary pathology. Th Hospital also provides consultancies to other zoos, fauna parks and aquaria, and quarantines animals coming into the collection from within Australia and overseas.

Only final year veterinary students are accepted for externships. Externships are for a period of 4 weeks. Applications for externships must be accompanied by a letter clearly indicating a commitment to the field of zoo and wildlife medicine and a Curriculum Vitae. This should include details of previous experience in this field, relevant memberships, attendance at conferences, etc. Basic skills in clinical medicine, surgery and necropsy techniques are prerequisites for obtaining an externship. Details of this must be included in applications. Students must be proficient in spoken and written English.


Associate Veterinarians and special expertise available

  • Dr. Larry Vogelnest, Senior Veterinarian; BVSc(Hons.), MVSc(Hons.), MACVSc
  • Dr. Frances Hulst, Associate Veterinarian; BVSc(Hons.), MVS (Wild. Med.)
  • Dr. Kimberly Vinette Herrin, Associate Veterinarian; DVM
  • Dr. Robert Johnson, Associate Veterinarian; BVSc, MACVSc, CertZooMed BA
  • Dr. Cheryl Sangster, Diagnostic Veterinary Pathologist; DVM, MVSc, DACVP
  • Ms. Kay Humphreys, Senior Technical Officer
  • Ms. Elizabeth Hall, Manager, Veterinary Nurses
  • Dr. Karrie Rose, Registry Pathologist; DVM, DVSc

Educational Resources

  • journals
  • books
  • computer databases
  • rounds (clinical vet & pathology)
  • access to internet¬†


The Taronga Wildlife Hospital is committed to provide training for undergraduate veterinary students. This is accomplished through the department's externship program. Students gain experience in zoo and wildlife medicine, surgery, pathology and husbandry. This is accomplished by spending time with the zoo veterinarians, laboratory staff, pathologist and keeping staff.

Students will be given the opportunity to fulfill all requirements stipulated by their university. If there are no specific requirements, students will undertake a brief investigation of a topic of significance to zoo and wildlife medicine, surgery and husbandry. A choice of topics will be provided at the beginning of the externship.

Student Supervision

Approximately 8 hours per day and 5 days per week. Students are not required to come in on weekends or public holidays.



Practice Information

Taronga Wildlife Hospital
Vanessa Di Giglio, Externships
P.O. Box 20
Mosman NSW 2088
ph: 61-2-99784785
fax: 61-2-99784516

email: Vanessa Di Giglio,; Dr. Vogelnest,

Updated: 4/18/08
Signature On File: Dr. Larry Vogelnest

Additional Important Information

Students must be covered by accident insurance (either through their university or personal). Please note that general travel insurance will NOT cover veterinary students during their externships. They must specifically seek insurance that will cover this type of program.

Travel and accommodation must be organised by student prior to arrival. We have a list of people to contact regarding accommodation, including rooms in private residences. Advice regarding travel to and from the Zoo can also be provided.

For further information, inquiries and externship bookings, please contact Vanessa Di Giglio, Administrative Assistant.

Mosman NSW Australia