Wildlife on the road
Many animals are injured on Australian roads. You can help injured animals and prevent further injures. Always take care when on the road.
Before taking any action consider the following:
- Can you handle the animal?
- Do you have something to wrap the animal in when you pick it up?
- Do you have something to put it in for transportation?
- Where will you take it?
When picking up the animal keep noise to a minimum. Try not to shine lights directly into the eyes and approach slowly and quietly – an animal may appear unconscious but it may not be. Kites and eagles often ‘Play Dead’ when injured.
Visually assess injuries
If the animal appears uninjured & you think it is only stunned move it to a place of safety off the road. Make sure it is placed in the shade & protect it until it recovers. Do not interfere with any young in the pouch.
For large animals with obvious fractures it is best not to move the animal without professional help. If possible call the closest rescue service for advice. For smaller animals wrap them tightly in a thick coat or blanket and try to prevent the injured wing or limb from moving. Gently apply external pressure to help stop any bleeding. Put animals in a bag, box or wrap snugly with a towel. Do not offer any food or water.
Keep all injured wildlife warm and quiet and covered.
Check the pouch of female marsupials for young. Be careful some of these can still kick, bite and scratch.
When removing pouch young from a dead mother still firmly attached to the teat, place a safety pin through the teat, close to the mouth of the joey, and then cut the teat off so its stays in it’s mouth. Pulling the teat out will damage the mouth of the developing joey. The pouch may have to be cut open to safely remove the young. Make sure you have a firm hold of older joeys as they are likely to wriggle free and escape and probably die of starvation.
Young wallaby are unable to thermo-regulate & will get cold very quickly. You may need to hold them against you to keep them warm.
Check the area around the injured animal for young. Joeys may have been thrown from the pouch and might be hiding injured nearby.
Take a note of the exact location of the rescue site and maybe tie a marker on a tree. Many animals are territorial and should be returned as soon as possible to their area.
Ring ahead to let rescuers know you are coming or arrange a place to meet them. Most wildlife needs special care from experienced carers and will not survive long without expert treatment. Ring the closest wildlife care group or veterinarian as soon as possible. All vets will help – generally free of charge.
When the animal has been dropped off, check yourself for bites and scratches that may need treatment & clean bedding clothing etc that may have been soiled. Go to a doctor for a checkup if you have been injured in any way.
Rescue Phone No’s
Katherine – 0407 934 252
Alice Springs – 0419 221 128
Wildcare Inc 89886121