Australia Zoo Animal Treatment Investigation ‘Completed In Weeks’
The Zoo Animal Hospital is a public service where caregivers take injured animals for treatment.
It is a non-profit organization funded by the Wildlife Warriors charity and sponsored by Australia Zoo.
News Limited reported on Saturday that Frank Muscillo, Steve Irwin’s brother-in-law and director of the Wildlife Warriors who oversee the animal hospital, has been sacked.
Mr. Muscillo is married to Joy, Steve Irwin’s sister.
Australia Zoo has consistently denied animals were abused at the zoo or hospital and cooperated with Biosecurity Queensland’s investigation.
Biosecurity Queensland, part of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, has launched a second investigation into the Australia Zoo Animal Hospital after further complaints were lodged by veterinarians.
Those investigations are nearing completion, a spokeswoman for Biosecurity Queensland said on Saturday.
“Biosecurity Queensland has interviewed a significant number of potential witnesses as part of its investigation into complaints received regarding the quality of care at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“A large number of written and verbal statements have been provided,” she said.
“A final report is being prepared and the investigation should be finalized in the coming weeks.”
The abuse allegations come during an ongoing dispute between parts of the Irwin family, who run the Australia Zoo.
The zoo was founded and opened by Steve Irwin’s father and mother, Bob and Lyn Irwin in 1970 and was called the Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park.
It was renamed Australia Zoo in the 1990s and significantly expanded by their son Steve Irwin and his wife Terri Irwin.
The Australia Zoo Animal Hospital opened on land next to the zoo in 2004 in an abandoned avocado packing plant “dedicated” to Steve’s mother, Lyn.
It has a mix of paid and volunteer staff.