We have wildlife volunteers available 24 hours a day that are
specially trained and equipped to handle these animals.
Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers 1800-008290
These are some
of the basic rules to be adopted if you find an injured native
animal or bird:-
Pick the animal up using a
towel or blanket, being careful to avoid being scratched or
bitten. Most small animals can be picked up in this manner -
place the towel or blanket over the animal and pick it up like
you would a small load of washing.
Place the animal in a
cardboard box lined with an old towel or blanket. The towel will
give the animal something to cling to so that it doesn’t slide
around in the box. Make sure that you put some ventilation
holes in the box first!
Place the box securely in
your car (not the boot as exhaust fumes can kill the animal).
Make sure that the lid is securely closed so that the animal
cannot escape and cause you to have an accident.
If you cannot obtain
immediate assistance, keep the animal in a warm, dark place and
keep noise to a minimum to avoid stress. Remember the animal is
in unfamiliar territory and unfamiliar noises and smells can be
extremely stressful to a native animal. Our native animals can
die very quickly from stress.
DO NOT OFFER ANY FOOD OR
WATER as native animals have very specialised diets and feeding
an animal suffering from shock can be fatal.
Take the animal to your
nearest vet or contact your local wildlife rescue organisation
or government wildlife authority as soon as possible.
Remember some animals do
not require rescuing, for example some baby birds are left for a
short time while their parents forage for food. Unless the
animal is in immediate danger just keep an eye on it to ensure a
parent returns to care for the baby. Removing a baby bird
unnecessarily can be very detrimental to its well-being. If in
doubt contact your local wildlife organization for advice.
If you find a kangaroo, wallaby, possum,
koala or wombat that has been injured make sure you check the
pouch - joeys have been known to survive in the mother’s pouch
following her death for several days. Do not remove the Joey
from the mother’s teat as irreparable damage can be done to the
joey’s mouth if removed from the teat incorrectly. If possible
take the mother and Joey intact to your nearest vet for
attention or alternatively call your local wildlife organization
for their assistance.
If you are interested in learning more about our native wildlife and
how you can help them, consider joining a wildlife care organization
such as Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers 1800-008290 and attend our
basic training courses.
During spring, hundreds of baby birds are “rescued” by members of
Baby Bird Information –
Click here for a detailed
article on what to do with baby birds. This article includes
in-depth information on re-uniting baby birds with their parents and
how to tell if a baby bird needs our help.
Baby Bird Poster
with instructions on how to create a make-shift nest!
Download the RSPCA Brochure “What
YOU can do if you find a Young bird”
Need more information on baby birds? Please telephone the Northern
Tablelands Wildlife Carers 1800008290
Stress and Wildlife
We must also bear in mind that our wildlife suffers tremendously
from stress whilst they are in captivity. The following information
gives you some insight on the effects of stress on our wildlife and
what we can do to reduce stress.
Stress immediately following rescue
The first 24 hours will be a very stressful period for any native
animal coming into care. Firstly we must realise that all the native
animals that come into care are wild animals. Most have been
traumatized in some way, been injured by a car, dog or cat, been
electrocuted, have lost a mother or have been abandoned.
Some will be in a state of shock, all will be terrified and
therefore extremely stressed. It is said that more native animals
die in care from stress than from any other single cause. Bearing
this in mind we must try to alleviate the stresses as best we can.
How stress manifests itself
Some animals when stressed, die very quickly. Other animals that are
subjected to stress, often will not thrive, may be a poor eater, may
not make regular and appropriate weight gains, may develop diarrhea,
may be lethargic, grind its teeth, vocalize, may succumb to disease
and may eventually die.
Obviously prevention is better than cure, be aware of the causes of
stress and minimize them.
Identifying sources of stress
Apart from the initial stress, (ie the accident, injury or illness
that caused the animal to be in care, or the loss of its mother,
food, warmth, security), there are many other stresses that the
animal is subjected to.
Some causes of stress...
Being handled by a
predator - HUMANS!
Being fed inappropriate
Being left at a veterinary
The change in temperature
or fluctuating temperature
Being housed in an area with reptiles or
the family pets
Remember - stress depresses the immune system leaving the animal
vulnerable to disease.
Other Wildlife Care Organizations
Australian Fauna Care –
This website provides an up-to-date list of all wildlife carer
groups in Australia and includes a search function.