How to help Aussie wildlife, the right way

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.


If you agree, maybe you’ve heard of our friends - WIRES, Native Animal Trust Fund and Sydney Wildlife? They’re all committed to the protection and preservation of native animals!

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!

Last modified on


  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Thursday, 17 August 2017

Sign up to our monthly newsletter

See inspiring stories, important information and rescues in our monthly newsletter.



  1. The initiative runs in New South Wales only from 24 February to 26 February 2017 inclusive.
  2. The initiative applies to all animals available for adoption at RSPCA NSW shelters, Care Centres and participating Petbarn Adoption Centres only. The initiative does not extend to RSPCA NSW animals offered for adoption through RSPCA Volunteer branches.
  3. Animals adopted during the initiative are subject to availability. Should all available animals be rehomed prior to the end of the initiative, the offer will no longer be honoured. No rainchecks are available.
  4. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  5. RSPCA NSW retains the right to refuse an adoption if it does not comply with standard operational processes.
  6. A maximum of two adoption animals may be adopted by any household.
  7. No animal will be placed on hold for any period. Adoption must be by personal attendance at one of the abovementioned facilities.
  8. Photographic personal identification must be presented at the time of adoption.
  9. A suitable carry cage must be used to transport birds, felines and small animals, including pocket pets, from the premises and during the journey home. If you do not have access to an appropriate carrier, you can purchase a carrier at the time of adopting your companion. Cardboard carriers are available to purchase for $10 from RSPCA shelters and Care Centres while stocks last.
  10. Suitable leads and harnesses must be used to transport canines from the premises. Canines must be appropriately restrained within the vehicle for the journey home. If you do not have access to an appropriate lead and harness, suitable equipment is available for purchase at the time of adoption while stocks last.
  11. Suitable transport for livestock and horses must be considered prior to adoption, and animals must be collected on the day of adoption.
  12. We understand that sometimes, despite your and RSPCA NSW’s best endeavours, your new pet doesn’t settle into your lifestyle. For this reason, you can return any animal to a RSPCA NSW shelter within 21 days from the time of collection to receive a replacement authorisation in accordance with our replacement policy, or a refund of the adoption fee paid. Please note: merchandise purchased cannot be returned as part of the replacement of an animal. Should a product be faulty, you can return that product, in its original condition, to the facility you purchased the merchandise from within seven (7) days and RSPCA NSW will replace that item.