How to get help for injured native animals
Posted on 22 September, 2021 by Ivan
We love our wildlife and are very proud of the amazing work wildlife rescuers do every week across Victoria. It is a tireless and stressful job that provides an important service for our wildlife and community. We are often asked about how to report injured or sick wildlife and who is the best contact in our region. Please read on for further information courtesy of Wildlife Victoria and a local wildlife rescuer, that covers the basics and some interesting facts.
How you can help sick or injured wildlife
1. Prioritise your own safety
If the animal you have found is located on or near a road make sure you park as safely as possible and turn on your hazard lights. If it’s dark turn on your headlights and stand in front of the car so you are well illuminated.
Keep a safe distance from the animal to not cause panic, and do not attempt to handle or approach the animal until you have contacted a trained rescuer.
Important: Larger mammals can be dangerous when distressed, and should only be handled by a trained wildlife carer.
2. Contact a professional wildlife rescuer as soon as possible
Caring and handling wildlife requires specialist skills and training. The best thing you can do to help the animal is to contact a trained professional who can give the animal the care it needs.
3. Follow the wildlife rescuer’s instructions
If you are unable to wait for the rescuer to arrive, try your best to leave some kind of marker or signal close to the animals location so they can easily locate it.
If your rescuer asks you to bring the animal to a nearby wildlife shelter, remember to prioritise your safety and the safety of the animal. Handle the animal delicately with as much padding between you and it to protect from biting, disease or simply to prevent stress.
Never attempt to feed native wildlife, but if possible provide clean drinking water.
Further information and resources
Wildlife Victoria has some excellent fact sheets and educational materials regarding how to care for sick and injured wildlife. They cover topic such as baby birds, heat-stressed animals, wildlife-safe netting and safe driving around wildlife. To view the wildlife fact sheets – click here
Tracking wildlife rescues activity in your area
Explore Wildlife Victoria’s map to see which animals were in need of help in your local area last month. The points on this map all relate to a single animal, or family of animals, reported to Wildlife Victoria last month. (Yes, this is just one month!) To view the map – click here