Injured or Orphaned Animals – What Should I Do?

FOR INJURED WILDLIFE CALL (between 7am-8pm):
0408 885 341 or 89 886 121

Can You Take It To A Vet For Free?

Yes.  If it is safe to do so, please take the injured wildlife to your local vet.  There will be no cost to you.  The vet will attend to the injuries and then contact Wildcare who will provide further care. Wildcare Inc is supported by several vet clinics in and around Darwin and Katherine. Please drop the animal off during opening hours or ring Wildcare Inc on  0408 885 341 or 89 886 121 between 7am-8pm if you are unable to drop it off.

Supporting Vets

  • All Pets Vet Hospital
  • Darwin My Vet Service, Wulagi
  • Darwin Vet Hospital
  • Katherine Vet Care
  • Katherine Veterinary Clinic
  • Litchfield Vets
  • The Ark Animal Hospital
  • University Avenue Veterinary Hospital

If you find an orphaned, sick or injured animal and you can’t drop it off to a vet clinic and an experienced carer cannot collect it straight away, you can follow these guidelines until help is available.

  • It is important to keep the injured animal in a warm, dark, quiet place away from pets or noise.
  • Most animals can be safely picked up by first throwing a large towel over them. Keep domestic animals and children away from these animals as they will be extremely stressed.
  • Marsupials cannot tolerate the lactose in cows’ milk so it should not be offered to them.
  • If you injure an animal check to see if it is still alive. If so cover to keep warm and get help. Check the pouch for young. If young are still attached to a teat, DO NOT detach. Keep mother and young together and call Wildcare. Removing dead animals from the side of the road prevents more animal injuries, but please take care.


Emergency First Aid

What do I do if I find an injured or orphaned animal?
Knowing what to do can make all the difference. It is important to keep the injured animal in a warm, dark, quiet place away from pets. Most animals can be safely picked up by first throwing a large towel over them.

Young or injured Birds
Place in a cardboard box and keep in a warm, dark quiet place. Large birds may need to be handled with caution. 

Young Mammals
Wallabies, kangaroos, possums, bandicoots & quolls. Place in a pillowcase or for young furless animals, place them down your shirt to keep them warm. Offer cooled boiled water only.

Help possums and wallabies
If by the time you find them and they have already died, please don’t just turn and walk away. Spend a moment by their side.
If it is a female she may be carrying some young.  Check inside her pouch for a young one.  Possum and wallaby joeys can survive even when the mother has died.  Never try and pull the joey off the teat, this will damage the mouth. If you have to remove the joey from the pouch, never pull the legs as they fracture very easily.  Try and scoop the joey out, the pouch is a very oily, slimy place and it may be easier to take the dead mother with joey inside to a vet or call Wildcare.

Adult Mammals 
Injured adult animals are scared and can cause injury to you so be very careful when handling. They will often calm down it you place a cover over their eyes.  Keep them warm in a dark and quiet place. 

Wildcare or a vaccinated ranger should be contacted for all bats.  If you have to pick up, cover young bats with a towel and place in a box. Do not touch adult bats, if they are caught on a fence cover with a light, damp towel or cloth. If bitten consult your doctor immediately.

Lizards & Snakes
For all injured lizards or snakes call Snake Rescue.

Snake Call Out (Darwin to Noonamah) 1800 453 210
Chris Peberdy, Reptile Wrangler* (Darwin and rural areas) 0409 326 307
*denotes this is a voluntary non contracted service

For assistance with problem snakes and other large or dangerous animals phone Snake Rescue on 1800 453 210.

Be careful driving on roads, especially at night. Removing dead animals from the road prevents even more injuries, but please remember to take care when removing animals off the road!

Download our Caring for Wildlife On the Road here: caring for_wildlife_on_road