Please DO NOT attempt to handle snakes, bats, large birds of prey, emus or adult kangaroos as they can cause serious injury.
Basic information you can follow if you find an injured native animal:
Don't become the next victim
- If you discover an animal in need in a potentially dangerous location (for example on a road) do not put yourself or others in danger.
- Make sure you are clearly visible to any traffic and that you don't create a dangerous situation for yourself or others.
- If the animal is not dangerous and you are confident in handling the animal, try to move it to a safer location if and when you can do so safely.
Is it a dangerous animal?
- Please do not touch any snakes, bats, large birds of prey, emus or adult kangaroos. All of these can inflict dangerous (even life threatening) injuries.
- Be aware that animals don't know you are trying to help and will think you are a predator. They may bite or scratch you if you attempt to handle them.
- Long-necked birds may strike at your eyes in order to protect themselves - so be careful.
Is it a native animal?
- If the animal is a domestic pet such as a dog or cat, we suggest contacting a local vet.
- If it is a farm animal such as a horse, cow or sheep, try contacting the local council or a nearby property.
- You can also try calling the police (if you can't get through to council) but remember this may not be a priority for the police force. However, they may be able to refer you to an appropriate number to call.
- If it is a native animal, or you are unsure, proceed to Contact a wildlife rescuer.
Contact a wildlife rescuer
- When you call RRANA we will need the location of the animal. If you are unable to stay with the animal until they arrive, try to pinpoint the location as closely as possible using an address, or a landmark, or consider leaving some visible item nearby that will be obvious to the rescuer.
- You could tie a bag around a guidepost or alternatively make a small cairn of rocks off the roadway.
- You could also possibly get GPS co-ordinates. An accurate location is especially important if the animal is not visible from the roadway.
- In many places, power poles have unique, sequential numbers, so if you can find a nearby pole that has a number, let the carer know where the animal is in relation to that pole.
- We may also ask you to take a photo of the animal and send it to us if you have a signal.
Make the animal comfortable
- Do not touch dangerous animals, or any animal that you are not comfortable in handling.
- Do not offer food or water unless a wildlife carer gives the ok. Most wildlife have very specialised diets and feeding a cold, shocked animal can be fatal.
- If the animal is distressed, it may help to cover the animal with a towel or blanket. It may help to keep them warm and to reduce visual stimulus that might scare them.
- Remember that even small animals can bite or scratch so be careful, and try to use gloves or a towel to protect you, and the animal from further injury.
- If it is a small animal that you are comfortable with handling, try to keep it warm, dark (covered) and quiet.
- Do not place it near other animals or children. Injured or orphaned wildlife are often stressed by being near people. They are likely to be in shock and too much stimulus can make things worse - so if possible, keeping them in a warm, dark, quiet place will help until a carer can take over.
- Note: Only transport animals if there is no other option and you are unable to contact a wildlife rescuer.
- We do not advise transporting large kangaroos or emus under any circumstances.
- Injured animals need to go straight to a vet or carer as it is illegal to hold native animals (even rescued ones) without a licence in NSW.
- Never transport an animal unconstrained. It needs to be in an appropriately sized container.
- Do not transport in a boot as fuel fumes can kill.
- Do not let echidnas loose in your vehicles as they are very hard to remove if they get wedged under car seats. A high bucket, if available is best.
- Other animals needs to be positioned in such a way that it can stand normally, but have limited movement. It must have adequate ventilation, and be kept warm, dark and quiet. It must not be close to a child or a pet.
- Ignoring any of these rules could lead to severe injuries or even death to the animal, passengers or driver. Imagine having an unconscious animal suddenly recover and start jumping or flying around in your car while you are driving at speed!
Care for the carer
Wildlife carers are everyday people. We sometimes have jobs and our volunteer work is always unpaid. We use our own funds on many occasions to look after sick injured and orphaned wildlife. So, if you call in the middle of the night, most will respond as soon as possible, but remember that they we aren’t waiting for your call - we were probably sound asleep. RRANA will try to help, because that is what we do. We just ask you to understand that we appreciate your patience when we ask questions so we can initiate a rescue for the animal.