Where wildlife meets human society, accidents happen. Although Queenslanders are encouraged to learn about ways to minimise their impact on wildlife and live more harmoniously with wildlife, unfortunately illness and injury happen. The best way to save lives is to know what to do when you encounter wild animals in need of assistance.
If you come across an injured, sick or orphaned wild animal, follow these simple steps:
- Before you handle the animal, check that the environment is safe, and that it is an animal you can safely handle. Unless you are competent at snake identification, do not handle any injured snakes. NEVER HANDLE A BAT UNLESS YOU ARE VACCINATED AGAINST AUSTRALIAN BAT LYSSAVIRUS no matter how small, injured or sick it is. Anyone who handles bats must wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
- If you are not sure of your safety or how to handle the animal, call 1300 Animal for help
- If possible, place the injured animal in a covered box or cat carrier. Provide soft bedding and place container in a cool quiet place.
- Try to reduce stress by minimising handling, movement, light and noise.
- Never remove a baby marsupial from a teat – it is best, if possible, to keep the mother with the baby still in the pouch even if the mother is dead, until assessed by veterinarian or experienced wildlife carer.
- Take the injured animal directly to the nearest veterinarian or RSPCA wildlife hospital (if it is within your region). If unsure CALL 1300 ANIMAL for help.
- If you cannot get the animal to a veterinarian immediately, contact 1300 Animal for advice.
- Please remember, if you take in an injured, sick or orphaned wildlife, you have a legal duty of care to do what is reasonable to assist it. This would usually include calling a veterinarian or 1300 ANIMAL. Leaving an animal in a container for an extended time period to see if it survives is not acceptable. Please also note that you are not permitted by law to keep wildlife, or care for wildlife unless you are a registered wildlife carer.