Spare a thought for our wildlife this Christmas

Spare a thought for our wildlife this Christmas

Monday, December 16, 2019

As bushfires rage across NSW on the back of the worst drought in decades our native animals are being severely impacted through lost habitat, starvation and displacement.

More than ever WIRES needs help to rehabilitate the unprecedented number of native animals coming into care as a result of these terrible natural disasters and is asking the public to give their support with a Christmas donation to the WIRES Emergency Fund  (all gifts $2 and over are tax deductible).

As well as looking after drought affected orphaned wildlife already in care, WIRES volunteers are continuing to enter bushfire zones to rescue injured and orphaned animals once the RFS and National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) declare these areas safe to access.

Rescued animals currently recovering in care with WIRES (see images below) include orphaned Eastern Grey joey ‘Myalls’ rescued from the Myall fires with badly burned hind legs. It was touch and go for the first few days but he’s now out of danger and doing well.In the Blue Mountains area, a young female wombat, 'Lara' was found by the RFS in an active fire zone with injuries sustained from a falling tree. The RFS carried her out of the fire zone for collection by WIRES and she was taken straight to the North Richmond vet where xrays showed a fracture on her upper jaw and she was also severely dehydrated. Lara is responding well in WIRES care and will be ready for release in 6 – 8 weeks.

WIRES has the following practical advice on how residents living near the fires zones can help wildlife during and after a bushfire.

  • Leave out bowls of water for animals and birds escaping fires - use shallow bowls with a few sticks or stones on one side to allow smaller animals to escape should they fall in.
  • Please keep cats indoors and dogs under control so that wildlife can flee safely through backyards and properties.
  • Keep a cardboard box and towel in the boot of your car in case you find an injured animal so you can safely contain it without putting yourself in any danger. 
  • If the animal has been burnt, do not attempt to feed it, just wrap it loosely, ideally in a towel or cotton fabric, place it in a ventilated box with a lid and keep it in a dark, quiet place and wait for a rescuer or for transport to the nearest vet.
  • If you can safely take an injured animal to your nearest vet please do so, as it will require an urgent assessment. Please also call WIRES on 1300 094 737 so we can follow up with vet and take the animal into care for rehabilitation.
  • Please do not approach injured snakes, flying-foxes, large macropods ( roos), adult wombats, raptors (birds of prey) or monitors (goannas) as these species must be rescued by trained specialists - please call WIRES for rescue assistance on 1300 094 737.
  • If you have a swimming pool in the bushfire area pleas drape something over the edge of the pool so that animals have a surface to grab hold of and climb out such as heavy duty rope or a piece of timber secured at one end to something heavy outside the pool. Pool steps can also prove a hazard as can be too high for smaller animals to get out so placing a few bricks or large stones to the side of each step will allow them to get a foothold. If possible check your pool twice daily including the skimmer box. If you do find any animal trapped call WIRES immediately on 1300 094 737 for advice.

For more information email John Grant, WIRES Media Officer, via [email protected].


WIRES is Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation. WIRES has been rescuing and caring for sick, injured and orphaned native animals for over 35 years with a mission to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same. WIRES’ Wildlife Rescue Office answers calls from the community 24/7, 365 days a year, providing rescue advice and assistance for over 130,000 animals annually. Connecting wildlife to real-time assistance, WIRES full-time mobile Wildlife Ambulances operate across New South Wales, South-East Queensland and Tasmania, and WIRES had over 3,500 volunteers assisting with wildlife rescue and care in NSW. WIRES is supporting thousands of wildlife carers across Australia through a diverse range of national programs. WIRES also collaborates nationally with strategic partners to support the long-term recovery of wildlife habitat and the long-term preservation of native species in the wild.

For more information on WIRES wildlife programs visit


WIRES Media Officer: John Grant | 0416 272 153 | [email protected]

Sign Up for Wildlife News

Stay in touch and get our regular rescue stories, WIRES updates and a free copy of our 15 Ways to Help Wildlife ebook