GOING WILD: Shizuyo Izumi is spending time looking after Greg, the koala, at Safe Haven.
GOING WILD: Shizuyo Izumi is spending time looking after Greg, the koala, at Safe Haven. Mara Pattison-Sowden

Japanese vet learns a lot from Aussie wildlife

SHIZUYO Izumi is used to looking after household pets, but she has turned her hand to getting a uniquely Australian animal education.

The Japanese veterinarian is visiting Gladstone for the second time this year, after a friend put her in touch with Tina Jenssen and Peter Brooks at Mt Larcom's Safe Haven.

Safe Haven is a breeding and research facility for critically endangered native animals, including bridled nail-tail wallabies.

It also serves as a rehabilitation centre for ill or orphaned animals.

"I'd like to work here but speaking English is a little bit difficult for me," Shizuyo said.

"It's hard to take a licence for a vet in Australia so I decided to help Tina instead."

Back home, Shizuyo works for a vet practice in Tokyo.

She has been a vet for nine years after completing six years of university study.

"My friend knew them (Peter and Tina) and he recommended me," she said.

"They're very nice people and I like to help them. I learn a lot of things from Tina."

Shizuyo said looking after wildlife was different to what she was used to.

"Pets' owners can tell you a lot, but wildlife we have to watch them and find something different from normal so it's difficult," she said.



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