What to do if you find injured or sick wildlife?
Accidentally hitting an animal or finding one laying on the road can be very distressing to both you and the animal, however there are ways you can help. Help is only a phone call away but the best thing is to be prepared.
Always carry these numbers with you in your car, purse or wallet or even better program them into your mobile phone. There are two main organisations in Victoria that operate emergency wildlife services:
- Wildlife Victoria run Wildline, this service is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their number is 13 000 94535 or 13 000 WILDLIFE.
- Help for Wildlife is a 24 hour state-wide Wildlife Emergency Service. Their number is 0417 380 687.
Always carry basic first aid items in your car, including gloves in case you do have to handle an animal, a pillow case for putting smaller mammals in, or a towel to keep an animal warm if need be.
If you hit an animal or come across one on the road, always stop to help. Put your hazard lights on and make sure you have parked your vehicle off the road, ensuring you do not endanger yourself or other vehicles. If the animal is dead move it to the side of the road to prevent other vehicles from hitting it and also to deter animals feeding on the carcass from being subsequently injured.
The best thing to do when you come across an animal that is injured is to contact one of the numbers listed above, they will then send out a wildlife rescuer. Wildlife rescuers are trained in all aspects of animal rescue and transport. In the meantime, while you are waiting for help to arrive, you can help by making sure the animal is kept out of any imminent danger, ie domestic pets. Do not give food or water. Keep the animal warm if possible. For larger animals such as Kangaroos which can become easily distressed, maintain a safe distance to prevent distressing the animal any further.
If the animal is dead you don't need to contact anyone, just move it safely off the road. Dead marsupials however should always be checked in case there is a Joey in the pouch. If you do find a Joey that is alive please call one of the above numbers ASAP or a local Vet who will advise you what to do.
Further information about these two organisations and more information on how you can help our wildlife can be found at:
Australian Animal Rescue
Australian Animal Rescue Inc, is a non for profit volunteer, non government organization and relies on your help to provide direct care, sanctuary, veterinary, wildlife hospital, triage, and other services also to provide short-term care for all animals in need of protection, including those animals which are sick, injured, stray, orphaned, abandoned, neglected or which have suffered from mistreatment or cruelty.
Australian Animal Rescue is committed to raising hundreds of orphaned animals each year. They rescue, rehabilitate and release back into their natural habitat hundreds of wild animals each year.
Report animal cruelty
End unnecessary suffering for innocent animals. All reports of animal cruelty can remain anonymous.
Telephone: 1800 751 770
You can make a donation to Australian Animal Rescue via the Australian Animal Rescue website.
You can make a donation to Help for Wildlife via the Help for Wildlife website.
You can make a donation to Wildlife Victoria via the Wildlife Victoria website.
Volunteers are always needed and appreciated especially in the spring and summer time.