Mudgeroo Animal Refuge and Emu Farm - Jervis Bay


Mudgeroo Emu Farm and Animal Refuge is a unique family run Australian Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation effort land is licensed under Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc. (WRSC Inc) The refuge is located on a 70 acre block in Jervis Bay on the Shoalhaven Coast, about 3 hours south of Sydney NSW.

The Refuge was once a commercial Emu Farm where Emus were destroyed to create products such as “Emu Oil”. Upon purchase the Emus were set to be euthanized, Phil and Belinda said.. “NO!, we will take them.”… and acquired a B3 Native Animal Keepers license (Emu Endorsement). 

 Belinda and Phil purchased this property in 2014 with the aim of having a place of refuge for native wildlife, to conserve natural habitats and to share their love for Australian Wildlife and Farm animals.

Mudgeroo Animal Refuge and Emu Farm, Falls Creek NSW - Rescued Emu's

The property is not only used to carry out Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, but also provides a Sanctuary for various domestic farm animals in need. Our native animal Rehabilitation activities are undertaken under the authority of WRSC Inc &  Australian Seabird and Turtle Rescue (ASTR).  

 We provide injured & orphaned wildlife with trained and professional assistance, using best practice guidelines aimed at ensuring best outcomes for Australian wildlife in need.

Over the last 6 years, they have recommissioned the property to suit the needs of a wildlife refuge, building highly specialised and secure enclosures for the vast array of unique species the local Australian habitat is home to. Belinda has cared for Kangaroos, Koalas, Emus, Echidnas, Possums, Snakes, Turtles, Goannas, Kookaburras, and many other species. Belinda and Phil have also created.. a Triage, Surgery and Quarantine areas for animals who arrive in need of urgent medical examination, treatment, and recovery. 

There is always a lot of work to be done with a steady and overwhelming stream of patients from all different walks of life. Caring for these animals is a very expensive and time consuming activity, with many patients requiring heating, constant feeding, specialty medical treatment & equipment and unique enclosures. Some patients also require around the clock care especially if they are very young or arrive in an unstable condition. As you might imagine, this can be very taxing financially, emotionally and physically. 

Mudgeroo Animal Refuge and Emu Farm Jervis Bay NSW

2019-2020 had been exceptionally difficult for Belinda and Phil due to a mix of financial difficulty and the summer bushfires, threatening the property at every turn. Belinda and her family and animals had to evacuate on 4 separate occasions across 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires which destroyed millions of hectares of habitat and cost 450 human lives (including smoke related deaths). Millions of animals perished with many more being injured. The property was wedged in between two large fires (Currowan 313,236ha & Comberton 2,686ha).

Luckily the farm and the family both survived relatively unharmed, with thanks to the Falls Creek and other local Fire Brigades. COVID 19 hit the Southern Hemisphere, which created its own challenges but Phil had already refinanced the property which allowed the family to continue with their valued work.

Phil and Belinda have been lucky to secure Grants from Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc. (WRSC Inc) and NSW Wildlife Council and these funds kicked off the goal of extending their existing Animal Nursery. This could not have been achieved without the help of so many supportive individuals, from both near and far.

A fabulous company ADCO donated hours of work throughout 2020 to ensure the building was complete. The year ahead will hopefully see Belinda and Phil successfully fit out the interior with superior holding pens, that will be suitable for a variety of species of sick or injured animals. 

Mudgeroo Animal Refuge and Emu Farm Jervis Bay NSW


To ensure Mudgeroo Emu Farm and Wildlife Refuge can continue in their endeavours to save, feed and rehabilitate their animals, as well as refurbish and expand enclosures and medical facilities. It is our hope that with the right funding maybe one day, we could even build a local wildlife hospital on the property with medical facilities that will be able to service a very large area of the South Coast of NSW.


Belinda donovan
wildlife veterinary nurse

Belinda has worked with animals her whole life, both in Australia and several other conservation efforts all over the world. She has completed studies in Zoology and Veterinary Nursing Vocation. From Veterinary Nursing to marine studies. Belinda ultimately became a Qualified Wildlife Veterinary Nurse early in her career,  was a Senior Veterinary Nurse at Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo before travelling to the USA to work with Elephants. Upon returning to Australia, she held roles at The Australian Wildlife Park in Sydney and followed by Healesville Sanctuary, in Victoria. It was at this time, Belinda set up her own facility to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife. She returned to her home state of NSW to care for her mother who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, at this time she met and fell in love with Phil….. The rest is history!!…

phil donovan
wildlife rescuer and carer

Phil works locally and spends his after hours time building enclosures and assisting with the heavier and stronger “In Care patients.” He is also a qualified Wildlife Carer. He is the resident Emu lifter, which is a sight to see. He has also Mastered the art of turtle shell repair and has helped many turtles over this time. Thus, making a name for himself as shell restorer bringing new found life to what would have been easy pickings for predators.

marcus donovan
junior carer

Phil and Belinda have a young son Marcus on which they install the strong values of animal care. Marcus helps around the refuge by feeding goats and emus as well as learning how to be a handy man to help with the upkeep of the refuge.

janet wheeler