Meeting Some Feathery and Furry Friends

Ben Dessen, Julian Leeser, and Squid the Sugar Glider

The Hills Wildlife Sanctuary does exceptional work caring for injured wildlife across Sydney.

Julian Leeser MP spent time with sanctuary manager Ben Dessen and some of the feathery – and furry! – residents of the Sanctuary in early March.

While the sanctuary is located in Dural, it responds to calls from across northern Sydney. Those calls come from individuals and organisations including WIRES, Sydney Wildlife Rescue, RSPCA, and others.

Their priority is to treat and release the animals who come to them for care. Where that isn’t possible, the sanctuary will continue to look after them.

The Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is currently seeking funding to upgrade its fences and expand their sanctuary facilities to an appropriately-sized, purpose-built wildlife hospital.

If that wildlife hospital was built, it would be the second in Sydney, after the Taronga Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

While the Taronga Zoo Wildlife Hospital already cares for 5,000- 6,000 native wildlife each year, that is just a fraction of the 90,000 native Australian animals who need care annually.

Julian Leeser MP voiced his strong support for the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary.

Ben Dessen, Julian Leeser, and Marlin the Black Cockatoo

‘One of the best things about our area is the incredible environment in which we live. The Hills Wildlife Sanctuary does exceptional work rehabilitating our native wildlife.’

‘Hundreds more native animals would die without their dedicated care.’

‘I support the sanctuary’s efforts to expand their facilities so that they care for and rehabilitate even more animals in the future.’

The manager of the sanctuary, Ben Dessen, grew up in the area and has been running the sanctuary for 10 years. He reflected on the importance of the sanctuary and its vision for the future.

‘Never in its 47-year history has the work of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary been more important than right now.’

‘Our native wildlife urgently need our help and we hope to further develop the sanctuary facilities to create a world-class conservation hub on the outskirts of Sydney.’

‘There is a desperate need for a state-of-the-art wildlife hospital in the area along with specialised rehabilitation facilities and we hope to realise this bold vision, working closely with the Government as well as corporate and philanthropic partners.’

If you’d like to learn more about the sanctuary’s work, you can visit