It can be difficult to know what to do if you come across a wild animal who you think may be injured or in need of help. Below we have outlined some basic first steps for how to assess a situation - however, it is highly recommended that if you do find a sick or injured wild animal, contact your nearest veterinarian or wildlife carer organisation as soon as possible. There is generally no charge to bring the animal to a veterinarian.
Towels and gloves are also important for handling animals to prevent injury to both the animal and the handler.
Read our handy guide for an animal-friendly swimming pool.
- Call your nearest veterinarian or wildlife carer organisation as soon as possible. There is a list of state-by-state contacts below.
- Remove threats to the animal by keeping children, other people and pets away from the injured animal.
- If you have spoken with a rescue group for advice, and it is safe to do so, then, while wearing gloves, you can gently wrap the animal loosely in a towel. Then place them in a ventilated box with a lid and place the box in a dark, quiet, and cool place before going to your nearest veterinarian/ wildlife rescue or while waiting for the carer to arrive.
- Extra precautions include wearing a mask and long-sleeved shirt to prevent injuries, for instance in the case of possums.
- Wild animals become very stressed with handling and exposure to people and loud noises. Keep handling to a minimum, place the animal in the box, and put the box in a quiet area away from people and other animals.
- Do not handle bats and do not approach snakes, monitor lizards, large macropods or birds of prey. Immediately call a wildlife rescue organisation or your local veterinarian.
- Take note of where you found the animal, as they may need to be released back at the same location.
- Do not feed or treat the animal, unless instructed to by the veterinarian or wildlife rescue group.
Wildlife Rescue Inc
Ph: 1300 596 457
- Australian Capital Territory
RSPCA ACT Ph: 02 6287 8100
ACT Wildlife Ph: 04 3230 0033
Wildcare Queanbeyan Ph: 02 6299 1966
- New South Wales
WIRES Ph: 1300 094 737
Sydney Wildlife Ph: 02 9413 4300
In NSW, you can also download the IFAW and NSW Wildlife Council's wildlife app, which will give you quick and direct access to the nearest animal rescue organisation.
- Northern Territory
Wildcare Ph: 08 8988 6121 or Mob: 04 0888 5341
RSPCA QLD Ph: 1300 264 625
Wildcare Australia Ph:07 5527 2444
- South Australia
Fauna Rescue Ph: 1300 477 722
RSPCA SA Ph: 1300 477 722
Bonorong Wildlife Hospital and Rescue Mob: 04 4726 4625
Wildlife Victoria Ph: 03 8400 7300
Help for Wildlife
24hr State-wide Wildlife Emergency Service Mob: 04 7755 5611