Harry Kunz casts nationwide net after a fruitless five-year search for a successor at Eagles Nest wildlife hospital
Having fielded various indecentproposals for his north Queensland wildlife sanctuary over the years, Harry Kunz has now extended a very decent one of his own.
Kunz wants to give away his two-hectare sanctuary and house on the picturesque Atherton tablelands.
The only catch? That the next owners carry on caring for the more than 1,200 injured or orphaned native animals taken in by the sanctuary every year.
Kunz is casting a nationwide net for candidates after a fruitless five-year search for a successor at his Eagles Nest wildlife hospital.
Drug dealers have previously urged him to forget the need for philanthropic funding support, promising him $100,000 a year to allow a dope plantation on the remote property instead, he says.
Some who think Im a senile old idiot giving his house and property away eye the house and not the animals, he says, figuring that having a dog or cat qualifies them to care for birds of prey and marsupials. Others see the size of his avian enclosures and propose turning the sanctuary into a zoo.
Ive had a few offers but I said no, I want this continuing as a wildlife hospital because thats what Ive tried to do for almost 30 years now, Kunz says. I dont want to lose what I created and built up, every shred, with all my money.
The hospital was inspired by Kunzs early experiences on his arrival in Sydney in 1982 seeing injured native birds such as galahs and cockatoos put down by Australian vets.
I got a shock because, where I come from in Austria, a sulphur-crested cockatoo was $3,000 in a pet shop. I didnt know you could buy them here for $10, he says.
For me it was an exotic wonderful bird who had just a broken wing. Whats the big deal? Anybody can fix this.
Eagles Nest boasts a 78% survival rate for rescued animals.