Sick or injured wildlife

What to do if you find injured or sick wildlife:

Call the RSPCA Wildlife Ambulance on 1300 ANIMAL (1300-264-625)

Do not try a rescue unless you are confident that you won't get hurt and your actions will save the animal.

Approach with care - make sure it is safe for you and others - and remove threats to the animal (like cats and dogs).

If it is a live bird, small mammal or small non-venomous reptile (if it is a snake, it's best not to touch it):

  • pick it up using a towel or blanket and put in a ventilated box;
  • secure the box and keep it in a warm, dark and quiet place;
  • if it is a healthy, uninjured baby bird that fell from the nest - you can try to return it to its parents. Call the RSPCA for instructions on how to do this.

If the animal is dead, check its pouch for live young. Animals like kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, bandicoots and possums have pouches. Do not pull live young off the teat.

Help us protect our wildlife from getting hurt:

  • keep your cat indoors (particularly at night) or within an enclosure or cat run when outdoors
  • keeping your dog inside or restrained at night
  • if you see wildlife in your yard (particularly koalas, kangaroos and wallabies), confine or restrain your pets out of sight. This will give them a chance to move on.
  • give your dog its own play-area, fenced off from the rest of the yard with wildlife exclusion fencing. To find information about training your dog to avoid wildlife, visit Leave It
  • take care on the road at night – stay alert and watch for animals on the road
  • create a wildlife-safe backyard - plant native plants, put in nest boxes, put out water, make your fences wildlife-friendly where appropriate
  • avoid using barbed wire and protect gardens with wildlife friendly nets
  • make sure you throw all rubbish in the bin
  • dispose of fishing line and fishing hooks in bins.

You can help wildlife in our city by volunteering for the RSPCA Wildlife Ambulance. For more information, please visit RSPCA - Volunteer Animal Ambulance or Wildcare Australia – Become a Carer.

Heat stress in wildlife

On days of very high temperature our wildlife can become weak and dehydrated.

Most animals do not sweat to cool down. Many animals use other ways like panting or licking themselves to keep cool.

How you can help wildlife during the summer?

  • Put water bowls in safe places around your yard for wildlife - try hanging from trees or posts, on the ground or on a pedestal.
  • Add a block of ice to water bowls in extreme heat, you can freeze water in a plastic bowl the night before.
  • Put a drowning prevention device in your pool, stock tank or rainwater basin. This can help animals climb out if they have fallen in.
  • Put sticks or rocks in large tubs of water so that animals and small birds can use them to get out.