Follow The Guidelines Below to Assist Sick, Injured and Orphaned Wildlife
These animals require specialist handling and MUST be rescued by trained wildlife rescuers. If you are unsure of the species, please check the images and information via the links above. Please monitor the animal from a safe distance and call for rescue assistance.
Keep The Animal Safe
Where you can do so safely remove any threat to the animal’s welfare, including keeping people and pets away to minimise stress to the animal, while waiting for vet transport or for a rescuer to arrive.
Wherever possible, it is best to leave native animals in the wild, including leaving healthy young animals with their parents. If you are unsure if an animal needs rescue assistance, particularly chicks in spring, please call for advice.
Rescue and Transport
Sick or injured animals need to be vet assessed before coming into care. It is critical to get sick and injured wildlife vet treatment as quickly as possible, and vets will accept wildlife free of charge.
If the sick or injured animal is safe to contain (e.g. birds), gently contain the animal and keep it in a warm, dark, quiet place, and transport it to the nearest vet. Please call the vet to let them know you are coming and do not give the animal any food or water unless instructed to by a vet or WIRES.
Improper rescue can hurt or distress the animal and the rescuer, which is why WIRES trains all our volunteers in Australia to provide help effectively, so please exercise caution when handling wildlife. Ensure you are wearing appropriate PPE, including gloves when touching any animal. Gently place a towel over the animal, place it in a ventilated box with a lid, and transport it carefully to the nearest vet or wait for the rescuer to arrive. If you are containing a possum, please take additional precautions. Wear a jacket or long sleeves to reduce the risk of being scratched, and wear a face mask and gloves when using a towel to pick up the animal. After placing the animal in the box, you should immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.
When reporting rescues to WIRES and vets, please confirm the EXACT location where the animal was found. Many young animals can possibly be reunited with their parents if we know the exact location the animal was found. Many native animals are also very territorial, and it is critical that we release them where they were found, when they are ready to release, to ensure their best chance of survival.
If you let WIRES know which vet you’ve taken the animal to, WIRES can follow up with the vet to coordinate rehabilitation for animals needing to come into care.
For more information on specific species, please visit our Wildlife Information page.You can also use the links below for extra information on common species:
Please remember: 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.