Backyard Buddies
Injured Mammal Rescue

Photo: Peter Sherratt

Injured Mammal Rescue

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Have you ever come across an animal in trouble and wondered what to do? There are a lot of simple, effective things you can do to help.

If you find an animal that needs help, call a wildlife carer immediately and follow their advice. Click here to find the phone number of your nearest wildlife carer.

Always call a wildlife carer -  most have 24-hour hotlines so they are always available. Please don't send a wildlife carer an email, as every minute counts when you're trying to save an injured animal. 

Keep a cardboard box and towel in the boot of your car, so that you can act quickly if you spot an injured animal. Its also a great idea to write down the numbers of some wildlife carers and keep them in your car and phone.

If you see an injured animal on the road, be careful of your own safety if you go to investigate. Other cars may also be using the road.

If the wildlife carer advises you to collect the animal and await their arrival, do it in a way that minimises stress for the animal. Approach with caution. Wild animals wont know you are trying to help and are not used to being handled - they may try to defend themselves by biting, scratching or kicking.

Cover the animal with a towel or blanket and gently place it and the towel in a well-ventilated cardboard box or natural fibre bag. Dont put the animal into a bare cardboard box or one lined with newspaper if possible.

Place the box in a warm, quiet, dark room and do not disturb the animal. Resist the temptation to peek at it, and keep children and pets well away. Dont give it any food or water unless advised by a wildlife carer, as native animals have a specialised diet and may get sick from what you offer it.

If the animal is cold, you can fill a bottle with warm water, wrap it in a small towel and place it near the animal but not touching it. Dont provide heat for reptiles or echidnas.

If you drop off an injured animal to a carer or vet, tell them exactly where you found it so that it can be relocated to its home territory after rehabilitation.

If you see an injured animal while driving but can't stop, record your odometer reading to a known point so that you can give the exact location to a wildlife carer.

It is against the law to keep native animals taken from the wild. They must be passed on to an authorised carer with a licensed wildlife rescue organisation.

Dont try to handle or rescue injured Flying foxes, venomous reptiles, snakes, or birds of prey. Improper rescue can hurt and distress animals and people. Call a wildlife rescuer as they are trained to rescue these and many other kinds of animals safely.

If you see an injured animal on the road, be careful of your own safety if you go to investigate. If you see an injured animal while driving but cant stop, record your odometer reading to a known point so that you can give the exact location to a wildlife carer.

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