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How can we help our wildlife?
Know your Wildlife
If you find a small injured animal and it's safe to do so, please scoop it up in a towel and place it in a box. Transport it to your nearest vet. If you find a large injured animal on or near a road, please contact Police on 000 for assistance.
Please check for young if you find a deceased animal with a pouch (kangaroo, wallaby, wombat, koala, possum). If safe for you, please move the dead animal off the road.
Please do not feed our native animals. They eat a balanced diet and do not require supplement feeding. This can make them dependent on humans or cause illness or other issues.
*Videos may contain graphic content -
Animals dead or in trauma (might not be suitable for underage viewers)
Please only check a pouch if the animal is deceased. If the animal is alive, please contact HWL or your nearest rescuerer for assistance. You can find additional information on how to check a pouch in our FAQ.
Who do I call?If you find injured or orphaned wildlife, please FIND HELP NEARBY via our website or call Wildlife Rescue Australia on 1300 596 457 (Australia wide, 24/7). For large injured wildlife on or near a roadway, please contact Police on 000 for assistance. For any non-native, domestic, or farm animals, please contact your local shire as we do not have the expertise to deal with them. We are also unable to assist with domestic work such as animals trapped in roofs, walls, etc. Help for Wildlife is not licenced to assist with those sorts of issues. Please contact Humane Animal Solutions on 0421 782 731.
What to do if I collided with an animal or spotted dead/injured wildlife?If you hit wildlife or stop to do a pouch check of deceased wildlife, please make sure you are safely parked off the road with your hazard lights on. If safe to do so, move wildlife off the road. If on a busy road or major highway, please call 000 for Police assistance. For rescue assistance, FIND HELP NEARBY via our website or call Australian Animal Rescue 0430 883 083, Wildlife Rescue Australia 1300 596 457. Please remember all these organisations are run by volunteers and not paid people. They volunteer their time to help. Please leave a message if unable to get through. They will return your call.
How do I check a pouch and remove joeys from a pouch?Marsupials have pouches. Kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, possums, koalas, gliders, echidna, quolls are just some of the animals you may see injured or killed on the side of the road. If safe to do so, stop and check if the animal is alive. If so, please contact us for assistance. If deceased, please use disposable gloves to check its pouch to see if any young are inside. You can do this by looking for any movement and by placing your hand over the outside of pouch area to feel for young. If there is a pouch young, carefully place your hand inside or gently roll back the pouch opening and scoop the baby out. Do not pull on any limbs or pull off the teat as this can cause injury. Keep the baby warm and contact us. DO NOT attempt to feed or give fluids. If you are not confident in doing any of the above, or if it’s not safe to do so, do not attempt it. Please FIND HELP NEARBY via our website for assistance/advice. Always keep a large old towel, pillow case, torch, disposable gloves, scissors, welding gloves, sanitizer and a folded up box in your car. Refer to the "How-To Video Guides" on our Learn page for additional instruction.
What do I do if I find orphaned wildlife?Wildlife if found injured or orphaned and is safe to do so, must be kept in a safe quiet place until you can take it to your nearest vet or licensed carer. Wildlife must not be kept or treated by members of the public unless they are a licensed vet or licensed wildlife carer. These animals need specialist care and food. If you are confident to pick up a smaller animal such as a possum or bird, have a large towel and box ready. Injured animals are frightened and may bite or scratch. Throw a towel over the animal and slide it into a box. If injured please take it to your nearest vet. If no vets are open near you, keep the animal contained in a well-ventilated box in a quiet area, and take it to your nearest vet as soon as they are open. They will not charge. It will need vet assessment before it goes to a carer. Wildlife when scared or injured may retaliate by biting, kicking, or scratching. This can cause serious injury. DO NOT APPROACH unless safe to do so. It is especially important to keep orphaned wildlife warm. Do not attempt to feed any wildlife.
What to do if I spot a kangaroo/wallaby caught in the fence?Please cover the animal with a blanket, ensuring its head is completely covered. Approach the property owner to cut fence. This releases the tension on the animal’s leg/hip and can reduce injury. Keep the animal covered as this will reduce its stress. Only attempt to do the above if safe to do so. FIND HELP NEARBY via our website for assistance/advice.
How do I approach, assess, and help an injured animal?"If you find a large animal injured or dead on the road, your safety is the priority. Park well off the road with your hazard lights on. If animal is deceased and it's safe to do so, remove it from the road to prevent further wildlife deaths or accidents. Please check to see if it’s a male or female and check pouch if female. If it is alive and on or near the road, please call 000. We would advise not to approach large animals unless you feel it Is safe to do so. If you are confident to pick up a smaller animal such as a possum or bird, have a large towel and box ready. Injured animals are frightened and may bite or scratch. Throw a towel over the animal and slide it into the box. If injured please take it to your nearest vet. If no vets are open near you, keep animal contained in a well ventilated box in a quiet area, and take it to your nearest vet as soon as they are open. They will not charge. It will need vet assessment before it goes to a carer. Do not approach bats or attempt to pick up by hand. They can only be handled by vaccinated volunteers or carers.
How do I tell if an animal is in distress?Wildlife when scared or injured may retaliate by biting, kicking, or scratching. This can cause serious injury. DO NOT APPROACH unless safe to do so. When we have continuous days of excessive heat, it not only affects us but affects our wildlife. Wildlife can become lethargic, disoriented or just look really unwell. Refer to our "Learn" page for additional information about heat stress in wildlife
What to do and how to protect myself in case an animal becomes aggressive?Wildlife when scared or injured may retaliate by biting, kicking, or scratching. This can cause serious injury. DO NOT APPROACH unless safe to do so. FIND HELP NEARBY via our website for assistance.
What should I keep in my car for wildlife emergencies?The following items should be kept in your car in case of emergencies: Disposable Gloves Hand sanitiser Pillow case Wet ones Pouch Beanie Scissors Towel Foldable cardboard box or similar Disposable instant hand warmers In your phone – Help For Wildlife 0477 555 611
What can I do to avoid harming wildlife?Try to limit your driving to daylight hours as wildlife are more active between dusk and dawn. Do not swerve, stop suddenly or veer if wildlife is on the road. Please ensure your netting over trees and or vegetables meets the Victorian standards. If it doesn’t please dispose of responsibly in your general waste. Refer to our "Learn" page for additional information on fruit netting standards.
You are based in Doreen. What if I am not near there with my wildlife emergency?FIND HELP NEARBY via our website as we have carers across Victoria. We work across the whole state.
Do you rescue snakes?We have a list of licensed snake catchers that work throughout Victoria. A fee may be charged as they are individual businesses, not volunteers. You may also find them on your local council website. Please contact us for a snake catcher near you.
What about seals, dolphins, and marine life in general? Do you rescue them?"We are not equipped to deal with marine life. There is a dedicated Marine Response Unit you can contact on 0477 158 676 or 0418 599 333. Please do not go near seals. If you require help with dolphins, whales or other cetacean strandings (beaching), please call 0401 011 022 or 0405 220 830.
How do I become a volunteer?Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a rescuer or carer with us. We always encourage volunteers to become rescuers and transporters before they decide to commit to becoming a foster carer. This way volunteers can get an idea of what’s involved with dealing with wildlife. We would also encourage you try and volunteer at one of your local wildlife shelters. To become a foster shelters, you need to be taken on by a registered wildlife carer. There is a limit of three foster carers that a wildlife shelter can have at one time. Under special circumstances shelters may be approved to take on more than three carers. You can contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) for details of a local carer near you. All costs are born by the carers themselves, whether foster carer or wildlife shelter, which can be very expensive. DELWP offer a yearly grant for items related to wildlife caring. Not everyone receives the grant.
Heat Stress in Wildlife
When we have continuous days of excessive heat, it not only affects us but affects our wildlife. Wildlife can become lethargic, disoriented or just look really unwell.
Arboreal and nocturnal wildlife such as possums and koalas may come down to the the ground in search of water, while birds will often pant and search for water sources or stay in shady spots out of the heat.
Grey-headed flying-foxes are very prone to heat stress. They will flap their wings and move down lower in the trees to escape the heat. They may also ‘dip’ or fly low to water sources such as rivers, to cool down. Younger animals may ‘ clump’ which means they will gather together low down in the trees often suffocating from being on top of each other. Under no circumstances should you handle any bats unless vaccinated. These need specialist care.
Put water out
Place shallow bowls of water out around your garden to keep wildlife hydrated
Keep people and pets away and allow wildlife to rest safely
Spray mist into trees and shrubs to create cooler areas that wildlife can use to escape the heat
If you need further guidance or information
In September 2021, legislation in Victoria changed in relation to the size of Fruit Netting mesh. Due to the numerous amount of wildlife being caught, injured and dying in fruit netting, the mesh size was legislated to be no greater than 5mm x 5mm stretched. This size reduces the risk of entanglement to wildlife. Fines for using netting that does not meet this specification is $2,726.10 and for advertising for sale for household use ranges from $363.48-$726.96. (POCTA Regulations)
Please ensure your netting over trees and or vegetables meets the Victorian standards. If it doesn’t please dispose of responsibly in your general waste.
Recommended: white in colour, strand diameter >500 microns or with a cross-weave design.
Place old netting into a strong biodegradable bag before sending it to landfill.
Recommended: white in colour, strand diameter >500 microns or with a cross-weave design.