FOUND AN INJURED ANIMAL?
If you have found a sick, injured or orphaned native animal please note the below advice on Animal First Aid.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Rescuing wildlife is done so at your own risk. The information outlined on this website should only be used as a guide and where possible you should contact a wildlife rehabilitation centre for further advice. Native ARC assumes no responsibility for injuries as a result of attempts made to rescue sick, injured or orphaned native wildlife.
If it is a baby bird and the parents are close, and the bird is not obviously injured, you can attempt to place the bird back in the nest or close to the parents so they can continue to feed and raise the bird. Magpie chicks can often climb back up to the nest before they can fly, and often humans will believe they are rescuing the bird when they are in fact taking it away from its parent’s care.
NATIVE ARC "FOUND A NATIVE ANIMAL?" FACTSHEETS:
Please assess the situation for your own safety when rescuing or containing the animal to bring it to a Wildlife Centre or a Vet Clinic. The steps below give you general advice on what to consider when rescuing, and what to be careful of.
You can bring sick or injured native animals to Native ARC, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 8.30m to 7.00pm.
Outside Outside of these times you can call our afterhours mobile, or call the WA Wildcare Helpline on: 08 9474 9055.
The Wildcare Helpline is a 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week telephone referral service. The Helpline is operated by volunteers on behalf of the Department of Parks and Wildlife, and based at the Kensington headquarters.
If the animal is clearly in urgent need of veterinary treatment (bleeding, open wounds, broken limb/wing etc.) please take it to your nearest Veterinary Clinic for immediate assistance following the steps below to ensure you are safe, and the animal is handled in a low stress manner.
Please note that Native ARC cannot admit or treat non-native animals, or pets/tame animals. Please take these animals if found to your local Veterinary Clinic, there are many 24 hour Clinics such as W.A.V.E.S Beeliar, Murdoch Pet Emergency Centre and Balcatta Veterinary Clinic.
Our first aid information is basic and simply covers important steps to maximise the animal's chance of survival. Please read all of our information carefully and do not provide further care or keep the animal for an extended period of time without seeking help from and experienced rehabilitator or veterinarian.
Please do not try and look after a sick, injured or orphaned animal yourself. The faster they are passed onto an experienced rehabilitator the better chance they will have of surviving.
Your safety is important. If you think the situation is dangerous or unsafe, please contact Native ARC.
DO NOT attempt to handle the following animals:
- Snakes: Even dead snakes can result in envenomation if handled incorrectly.
- Bats: Can carry a wide range of potentially fatal zoonotic diseases.
- Adult Kangaroos: Can break bones and cause seriously injury if they feel threatened.
- Birds of prey: Talons can cause severe injuries and some have extremely strong, "Bone Crushing" beaks.
When handling any animal it is important to use proper forms of protection. Gloves, towels, bags or blankets can all be used to protect you from being bitten or scratched. You may wish to consider carrying a “rescue pack” in your car which consists of a box, towel, gloves, eye protection, hand sanitiser and a list of emergency contacts.
Approaching an animal
Always be careful when approaching an animal. Approach slowly and observe its body language and posture. Try not to make any sudden movements. Grabbing the animal suddenly can cause it to run off or attack.
If you feel an animal is sick or injured and needs medical help, there are a few methods of catching certain animals. For birds, a towel or blanket can be used to throw over them. If they are a large bird, putting the towel over their head and wings will minimise stress and escape. The same approach can be used for lizards; however, a pair of gardening gloves to pick them up is easier. Small mammals can easily be caught with a towel or pillow case by placing it over their entire body and picking them up. For advice on catching larger animals, contact Native ARC or Wildcare .
Stress can kill an animal so be aware to minimise stress by reducing handling and keeping the animal in a quiet dark container with no external noise. Do not attempt to feed or provide fluids.
If you see a dead animal on the road, safely pull over and assess the situation. If it is safe for you to remove the animal, drag it off the road. This will stop other prey animals from getting injured or killed by traffic as they feed on the carcass. If the animal is a marsupial (bandicoot, possum, kangaroo etc.) check to see if it has a pouch. If so, there could be a joey in the pouch. If you find a joey, please contact Native ARC.
One of the best ways to maximise an animal's chance of survival is to keep it warm and quiet from the outset. Hot water bottles wrapped in towels, heat packs or even body heat are great sources of heat until a rehabilitator or veterinarian can be contacted. Do not overheat and keep a constant check on the animal’s temperature.
Do not give food or water to an animal unless instructed to by an experienced rehabilitator/veterinarian. Giving an animal food without proper hydration can lead to death especially in baby birds. Seek help from Native ARC or Wildcare immediately.
Cardboard boxes lined with newspapers and towels they are a very efficient means of transporting animals. Other transportation methods are pet packs, shoe boxes, bird cages and plastic tubs with ventilation. Large animals such as water birds and kangaroos need to be transported with specialised equipment so please call Native ARC or Wildcare Helpline for assistance.