What to do if you find an injured native animal

What to do if you find an injured native animal

The first step in help­ing injured wildlife is know­ing who to call. We’ve got you cov­ered with these contacts.

Dis­cov­er­ing injured wildlife can be a con­cern­ing and con­fronting expe­ri­ence, so here are some things to con­sid­er before you jump right in and chan­nel your inner Bon­di Vet.

First­ly, you need to think of your own safe­ty and those around you.

If a wild ani­mal has been injured and is in dis­tress, they can behave unex­pect­ed­ly and dif­fer­ent­ly than normal.

Wild ani­mals can also car­ry par­a­sites and dis­ease that can affect humans, so it’s advis­able to wear pro­tec­tive equip­ment where possible.

The wel­fare of the res­cued ani­mal is vital­ly impor­tant so unless you have a res­cue per­mit it’s crit­i­cal that you con­tact an expe­ri­enced ani­mal car­er to alert them of the situation.

Here’s who to call:

If it’s with­in a nation­al park

If you find a native injured ani­mal with­in a nation­al park, con­tact the park’s region­al duty offi­cer.

They will be able to pro­vide assis­tance, and if addi­tion­al vet­eri­nary care is need­ed, will like­ly have the cor­rect con­tacts for the situation.

If it’s out­side of a nation­al park

If you find a native, injured, ani­mal out­side of a park, con­tact a local wildlife res­cue group for help.

The eas­i­est way is to use an inter­net search engine to search by loca­tion and type of animal.

If it’s a marine mammal

If you find a sick or strand­ed marine mam­mal, includ­ing whales, seals, sea lions and dol­phins, call a region­al duty offi­cer.

Marine mam­mals need spe­cif­ic care and there are impor­tant things you need to know before assist­ing, so it’s always best to phone the experts.

Can I care for an injured ani­mal myself?

You can res­cue a sick, injured or orphaned native ani­mal from the wild if it needs care and treat­ment but to do so, you will need a res­cue per­mit.

A per­mit is not required when the ani­mal is:

  • an intro­duced species (not native to Australia)
  • classed as an unpro­tect­ed native species.

If you don’t have a res­cue per­mit to care for a native ani­mal, you need to con­tact a wildlife res­cue organ­i­sa­tion which has expe­ri­ence with the type of ani­mal. Scroll up and you’ll find the details of who to call.

While you’re wait­ing for expert help, you can help make the ani­mal more com­fort­able by fol­low­ing the advice in our sto­ry: Tips for res­cu­ing SA wildlife.

It lists details that will help you pro­vide imme­di­ate care for species such as koalas, kan­ga­roos, wom­bats and birds until you’ve made con­tact with an expe­ri­enced wildlife carer.

Did you know South Aus­tralia has a new ani­mal and wildlife campus?

After the 2019/2020 sum­mer bush­fires in South Aus­tralian, the Wildlife and Habi­tat Bush­fire Task­force iden­ti­fied a range of rec­om­men­da­tions to help sup­port wildlife recov­ery after bush­fire events.

One of the rec­om­men­da­tions was that a ded­i­cat­ed wildlife res­cue facil­i­ty was need­ed that could imple­ment a coor­di­nat­ed response.

Just this month, the RSP­CA South Aus­tralia Ani­mal Care Cam­pus was launched, housed at the new Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­­mai­it­pin­na Yarta in Adelaide’s south­ern suburbs.

It will pro­vide spe­cial­ist wildlife vet­eri­nary care for injured and ill native fau­na and it will become the state’s cen­tre for the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of injured wildlife, which is expect­ed to pro­vide care for about 8000 ani­mals a year.

When encoun­ter­ing un-injured native wildlife, there are some things you should know aboutkeep­ing the wild in our wildlife.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living