RSPCA NSW Blog
How to help Aussie wildlife, the right way
Not to toot our own horn, but Australia is home to many animals found nowhere else on Earth. So it’s safe to say that Australian native animals are diverse, unique and should be protected at all costs.
These organisations have been assisting with the care of Australia’s wildlife for years. They also provide information and educate the Australian community, while actively rescuing and caring for wildlife across NSW. They’re the ones you call when you find an injured or sick native animal. But what else can you do? Keep reading to find out!
What do I do if I find an injured or sick native animal?
1. If you have found a sick, injured or orphaned animal, remove any threat to the animal.
Make sure to keep all people and pets away from the animal. It’s all about minimising stress to the animal until veterinary transport or a rescuer arrives. For professional help, you can contact WIRES Rescue Line on 1300 094 737 r Sydney Wildlife on (02) 9413 4300. If you live in in the Hunter area, you can contact the Native Animal Trust Fund on 0418 628 483.
2. If it is safe to do so, contain the animal in a warm, dark and quiet place.
If it’s safe to do so, contain the animal in a cardboard box with a towel or blanket inside to provide warmth and comfort. It’s advised to move the animal away from danger and into a quiet, dark environment. Try your best to do everything quietly and seamlessly, leaving the animal as undisturbed as possible.
3. Do not give the animal any food or water, unless instructed to by a veterinarian or wildlife carer.
Native animals have specialised diets, so feeding an animal suffering from shock can be fatal. Check with a veterinarian or wildlife carer if you’re worried about the animal being dehydrated or hungry.
Can I bring injured or sick wildlife to a veterinary hospital?
Yes, but only if it’s safe for both you and the animal to be moved. Most veterinarians will accept wildlife free of charge. So just call ahead and let the veterinarian know that you’re coming. Afterwards, you can contact one of the above wildlife organisations to let them know where you’ve taken the animal, allowing them to make any further arrangements.
Which animals should I not approach?
Do not approach any bats, kangaroos or wallabies, flying foxes, monitor lizards, snakes, spiders or raptors unless trained to do so.
If you see any of these animals in need of help, it’s best to contact the WIRES Rescue Line on 1300 094 737or Sydney Wildlife on (02) 9413 4300. If you live in the Hunter area, contact the Native Animal Trust Fund on 0418 628 483.
We appreciate your desire to help, but these animals require specialist handling and must be rescued by trained wildlife rescuers. Once rescued, they need to be seen by a veterinarian before going into care.
By now you’re probably asking, why do we always stress that professional help is needed? It’s because an improper rescue could hurt or cause stress for the animal (and you too). This is why these wildlife organisations train all their volunteers! So, please be very careful when handling wildlife, because we want both you and the animal to be safe.
What else can I do?
When reporting rescues to wildlife organisations and veterinarians, make sure to confirm the exact location where the animal was found. With this information, it’s possible for many young animals to be reunited with their parents. Also, many native animals are very territorial, so releasing animals back into the same area ensures their best chance of survival.
Please remember, native animals are living in their own environment and if they’re not injured or sick, don’t disturb them. Just leave them in peace and let them do their thing!