FOUND INJURED WILDLIFE AND NOT SURE WHAT TO DO?
Unfortunately every day around Australia, 1000’s of native animals are injured, orphaned and killed. Sadly the majority of cases are human related, often due to motor vehicle trauma or cat attacks from people not properly confining their pets.
Much of this injured wildlife is found by members of the public. The following information is provided to assist these people in helping our wildlife.
SOME GENERAL RULES TO FOLLOW WHEN DEALING WITH SICK OR INJURED WILDLIFE ARE:
- Only handle sick wildlife if safe to do so and only rescue an animal if you are comfortable doing so. Be careful when handling native wildlife to avoid injuring the animal or yourself. Some injured animals are dangerous to humans and may bite or scratch when feeling stressed. They are not domesticated like household pets, so avoid handling them more than is necessary. Simply place a towel or blanket over the animal and place it in a secure box for transport. Keep the animal warm, quiet, in the dark and away from children, domestic animals and noise.
- If you find an injured or sick animal it is important to take it to your nearest vet as soon as possible. When you bring an injured animal to our veterinary clinic, we undertake an assessment to determine the animal’s medical condition. Once assessed, we can then determine the best course of action, including any treatment, and placement with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. There are government regulations relating to the care and protection of injured wildlife which we abide by in all circumstances including the management of declared pest species.
You will not be charged a consultation fee if you bring wildlife to our clinic.
- Do not give sick, injured or orphaned wildlife anything to eat or drink. You may be inadvertently feeding unsuitable foods and this may cause further issues with the animal’s health.
- Do not attempt to care for any injured wildlife yourself, and never plan to keep it as a pet. All wildlife must be handed over to veterinarians, licenced wildlife shelters or licenced foster carers. It is illegal to possess and treat wildlife in Australia without the appropriate training and permits.
- Record exactly where you found the injured animal. In almost all cases, if the animal is rehabilitated and deemed fit for release it will be released as close to possible as to where it was found. This massively increases its chances of survival.
- Never relocate an animal out of its natural area.
- Always consider if the animal really needs to be rescued before you try to offer assistance. This is particularly so for many young birds.
- Always check the pouch of dead marsupials (e.g. kangaroos, possums) as there may be live young in there.
If you are unable to take the animal to a veterinary clinic then contact one of the following organisations who provide care for wildlife around Belgrave South and the Yarra Ranges: