Dr Jon Hanger

Managing Director and Wildlife Veterinarian

Jon is an experienced wildlife veterinarian who is well recognised and highly regarded for his research and veterinary expertise, particularly with koalas.

Jon was veterinarian for the famous conservationist, the late Steve Irwin. He established the Australian Wildlife Hospital (now the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital) in 2003 which is now the foremost facility in Australia for the treatment of wildlife, and contributes significantly to wildlife conservation research. For more than twenty years, Jon has witnessed firsthand how infectious diseases are devastating koala populations throughout Queensland and New South Wales. As a result, he is involved in a number of research collaborations with Australian universities investigating disease in koalas. Some of these projects involve testing a vaccine for the prevention of chlamydial disease in koalas, and further studies into the koala retrovirus.

Jon is a founding member of Koala Research Network (KRN), and a member of the KRN Steering Committee. He is also a member of former Premier’s Koala Crisis Taskforce. Jon has drafted the policy and position statement on koalas for major State political parties and is the principal author of the draft Code of Practice for the Welfare of Wild Animal Affected by Land-clearing and other Habitat Impacts AND Wildlife Spotter/Catchers, in addition to a number of scientific papers on koala health.

Jon has developed various documents for the training of veterinarians and biologists on koalas including:

  • A Standardised approach to the veterinary clinical examination of koalas (including the standardised veterinary assessment data record sheet)
  • Koala Capture and Handling Course
  • Introduction to the use of restricted drugs for koala sedation and anaesthesia

Jo Loader

BSc (Hons), Dip. App. Sc. (Anim. Tech.)
Research Scientist and Veterinary Nurse

Jo is a Research Scientist / Veterinary Nurse at Endeavour Veterinary Ecology. Prior to joining Endeavour, she was employed for five years in a similar role at the Australian Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

In 2006, Jo completed a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution. She has been veterinary nursing for over 10 years and has extensive experience with a wide range of native animals, particularly koalas.

She has been involved in a number of koala radio-tracking and research projects, including the long-term health monitoring of koalas in the Moreton Bay, Gold Coast and Redlands region populations.

In 2010 she received a First Class Honours for her thesis entitled, ‘An Investigation of the Health of Wild Koala Populations in South-East Queensland’. Jo is a current and founding member of the Steering Committee for the Koala Research Network.