Australia Zoo | Crocodile Hunter | Croc One | International Crocodile Rescue | Wildlife Warriors
New Breed Vets
Synopsis | Episode Guide | Australian Wildlife Hospital | Acclaim

Amazing Aussie Ops

200 million years ago the continents broke apart, sending the island of Australia towards its isolated position down under. Australia’s wildlife has evolved over millions of years into amazing, unique shapes and sizes. Kangaroos, cassowaries, koalas and echidnas – they all need the help of our New Breed Vets. In this special Australian wildlife episode, our New Breed Vets raise endangered wallabies through surrogate mothers, give an echidna a chance to walk again and perform life-saving amputations on snakes and lizards. Our New Breed Vets are called to action to save the life of a kangaroo cruelly shot by a hunter’s arrow.

Case Study kangaroo  

Episode: “Amazing Aussie Ops”
Case Study: Eastern Grey Kangaroo Arrow Trauma
Location: Australia Zoo
Veterinarian: Dr Jon Hanger

Australian Wildlife Hospital Rescue Unit responded to a call from a wildlife carer requesting immobilisation and anaesthesia of a mature female Eastern Grey Kangaroo injured by a malicious shooting with a hunting arrow. Dr Jon Hanger and his veterinary team arrived at the scene to find the arrow still lodged in the right leg of the kangaroo. This female also had a joey. Dr Jon darted the kangaroo and treated her on-site with penicillin and provided pain relief. The ends of the arrow were cut off to prevent further trauma and she was transported back to the Australian Wildlife Hospital with her joey. Dr Hanger removed the shaft of the arrow, flushed the arrow tract with a saline solution and placed the kangaroo on strong antibiotics for infection. The external wounds were cleaned and stitched. The kangaroo was placed in intensive care with a 50/50 chance of recovering. Her joey is being hand-raised and will be released into the wild.

Patient Card - kangaroo
Patient Card kangaroo

Procedure card kangaroo

Case Study wallaby  

Episode: “Amazing Aussie Ops”
Case Study: Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby Cross-fostering
Location: Adelaide Zoo, Australia
Veterinarian: Dr David Schultz

Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies are a rare, endangered species of macropod - the kangaroo family. There are very few remaining wild colonies left. Australia’s Adelaide Zoo has established an effective captive breeding program with its very healthy captive population of Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies. The program is called cross-fostering, and simply utilises a surrogate mother from a compatible species to rear the joey. Under the guidance of Dr David Schultz, female Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies with newborn joeys are selected and anaesthetised. The newborn joey, about the size of a human thumb, is physically removed very carefully from its mother’s teat inside the pouch. The joey is immediately placed on the waiting teat of the anaesthetised surrogate mother – a Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby. The Yellow-footed surrogate mother is returned to her colony enclosure, where she will raise the Brush-tailed joey as her own. The Brush-tailed mother is returned to her colony enclosure and will soon come into season – usually three times a month, and breed again to produce new offspring for cross fostering. The wild captive bred Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies are then re-introduced to the wild. Adelaide Zoo’s veterinarians are some of the world’s leading experts in this type of technique.

Patient Card - wallaby
Patient card wallaby

Procedure card wallaby

Vet Cards  

Dr David Schultz:

In the New Breed Vets episode ‘Amazing Aussie Ops’, Adelaide Zoo’s Dr David Schultz is implementing an endangered species breeding program for Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies using surrogate mothers from another species of wallaby to raise these rare Aussie marsupials.


20 years ago, Dr Schultz ran a busy veterinary practise treating predominantly cats and dogs, but an interest in wildlife and a passion for bird medicine, surgery and husbandry changed all that. Dr Schultz is now head vet at Adelaide Zoo in Australia and works with many native and exotic wildlife species. His pioneering work with native Australian endangered species is a legacy for future generations.

Dr David Schultz

Dr Jon Hanger:

In the New Breed Vets episode ‘Amazing Aussie Ops’, Australia Zoo’s Senior Veterinarian Dr Jon Hanger treats a host of injured Aussie animals – an echidna with a broken forearm, a Black Flying Fox with a broken wing, a bilby requiring a tail amputation and an Eastern Water Dragon with a broken leg. Dr Jon also performs emergency surgery on a Green Tree Python with a prolapsed bowel, and rescues an Eastern Grey Kangaroo that has been shot with an arrow.


Dr Hanger, who has loved animals since he can remember, was born with a passion for saving wildlife. He has been working professionally with Australian wildlife for the past 15 years and is regarded as one of Australia’s foremost koala experts. In 2003 he commenced working at the Australian Wildlife Hospital at Australia Zoo with Steve Irwin. As Senior Veterinarian, Dr Hanger has treated an extremely wide and diverse number of wildlife species.

Dr Jon Hanger

Dr Chris Ryan:

In the New Breed Vets episode ‘Amazing Aussie Ops’, Australian wildlife vet Dr Chris Ryan performs a tail amputation on a venomous Red-bellied Black Snake after it has been run over by a vehicle.


Dr Ryan graduated from the University of Queensland in Australia with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1982. He has established one of the biggest veterinary practises on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Dr Chris began an association with Australia Zoo in 1995 and has treated everything from alligators and crocodiles to injured native Australian wildlife. Dr Chris has a particular interest in small animal medicine.

Dr Chris Ryan
New Breed Vets