When you a sick, injured or orphaned animal, these are the questions you have to ask yourself:

  • What will I do with the animal when I have caught it?
  • How will I contain it?
  • Will I need help?
  • Which part of the animal can hurt me?

First of all injured animals are very susceptible to stress, so they have to be handled carefully but also you need to have your own safety in mind first. If it is safe for you to do so, please consider taking the animal to our Wildlife Rescue clinic ArkAid for assessment.

Rescue Steps

If you are confident you can deal with this situation, approach the animal from behind and walk slowly and calmly towards the animal. Make sure you take a towel or blanket with you.

1. Birds
A towel can be used to gently cover and catch the bird, keeping it calm. Place the bird in a container shoebox, or cardboard box with tops or flaps, or large paper grocery bag. Be sure to provide airholes in whatever container is used. If putting the bird in a bag, fold the top over and staple or use clothespins to keep it shut.

2. Mammals (e.g. possums, bandicoots, wallabies)
Always wear protective gloves, or use towels or other barrier between your hands and the animal. Gently covering the mammal with a towel helps to calm the animal. If you come across a fully grown wallaby which is not seriously injured please contact a wildlife carer for help with the rescue.

To reduce the animal’s stress as much as possible after you caught it, please follow this advice:

  1. Move the animal away from any danger and into a quiet, dark environment.
  2. Contain in a cardboard box with a small towel or blanket inside to provide warmth and comfort.
  3. DO NOT OFFER ANY FOOD as native animals have very specialised diets, plus feeding an animal suffering from shock could be fatal. You can put a dish of water in the box, if you can’t transport the animal to us straight away.
  4. Note the exact location the animal was found – most animals are territorial and must be released back at the rescue site.
  5. Keep the animal as quiet and undisturbed as possible
    (Read more Wildlife Rescue Book Wildcare NT – First 24 hours, for you copy please ask our staff in the clinic)

Always check the pouch of a dead animal as young can often survive (remember possums and wallabies  have a backwards facing pouch).