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How to Care for Injured Wildlife

Care of Injured Wildlife

Each day, wildlife is injured or displaced due to natural disasters, human interference, and other causes. Knowing how to help these animals is essential if we are going to ensure their survival. From determining when it’s best to intervene and what the appropriate steps are for providing care, let’s take a look at how you can provide first aid to injured wildlife.

how to take care of injured wildlife

If you come across injured Australian wildlife, it is important to handle the situation carefully and safely

  1. Approach the animal slowly and calmly, and do not try to handle it if it is still capable of biting or scratching.
  2. If the animal is a marsupial (such as a kangaroo, wallaby, or possum), check for a pouch and see if there are any young inside. If so, leave the young in the pouch and cover the pouch with a towel to keep the young warm and calm.
  3. If the animal is a bird, cover it with a towel or cloth to keep it calm and prevent it from flapping its wings.
  4. If the animal is a reptile, if safe to do so use a towel or cloth to gently pick it up and place it in a secure container.
  5. If the animal is small enough, place it in a cardboard box with a towel or cloth for warmth and comfort. If the animal is larger, use a sturdy crate or cage.
  6. Keep the animal in a quiet, dark place to reduce stress.
  7. If the animal is severely injured, it may be necessary to euthanize it to prevent further suffering. This should only be done by a trained professional.
  8. If the animal is not severely injured, contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center or a veterinarian who is experienced in treating wildlife. They will be able to provide the necessary care and treatment to help the animal recover.

It is important to note that it is illegal to keep native Australian wildlife as pets, and it is best to leave their care to trained professionals.

Determining When To Intervene

When helping an animal in distress, it’s important to consider when it’s most appropriate to intervene. If an animal appears uninjured but is separated from its mother or herd, it’s best not to interfere. This separation could be a part of the normal behavior of the species; however, if the animal looks injured or ill in any way, then you should immediately contact a local wildlife rescue center or veterinarian.

Providing Care

If you have determined that intervention is necessary, there are several steps you should take when providing care. First and foremost, make sure you approach the animal slowly and quietly while avoiding any sudden movements that could cause anxiety or alarm. Then, if possible, handle the animal with gloves and/or a towel so as not to further injure it with your hands. After that, transport the animal as gently as possible to a veterinary office or wildlife rehabilitator who has experience caring for injured wildlife.

Here is a list of first aid equipment that may be useful when treating injured wildlife:

  1. Towels or cloths: These can be used to cover the animal, keep it calm, and provide warmth.
  2. Cardboard boxes or crates: These can be used to transport the animal and provide a secure and comfortable place for it to rest.
  3. Scissors, plyers and wire cutters: These can be used to cut away any entangling material or clothing.
  4. Forceps or tweezers: These can be used to remove any foreign objects or debris from the animal’s wound.
  5. Magnifying glass: For checking foreign objects, glass and fine net which may be imbedded in an animals skin and difficult to see.
  6. Sterile gauze or bandages: These can be used to cover and protect wounds.
  7. Antiseptic solution: This can be used to clean and disinfect wounds.
  8. Eyedropper or syringe: These can be used to administer fluids or medications to the animal.
  9. Heating pad or hot water bottle: These can be used to provide warmth to the animal, especially if it is in shock or suffering from hypothermia.
  10. Thermometer: This can be used to check the animal’s body temperature.
  11. Leather gloves: for handling animals only if safe to do so.
  12. Hi viz vest: Wear if supporting injured roadside animals.

It is important to note that these are just general guidelines, and the specific first aid equipment needed may vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. It is always best to seek the guidance of a trained professional when treating injured wildlife.

It’s also worth noting that feeding an injured wild animal can be dangerous—not only for you but also for the animal—so you should avoid doing so unless instructed by a trained professional. You should also never attempt any medical procedures on an injured wild animal on your own; instead leave this job up to those who have been trained in proper technique and understand the anatomy of various species of animals.


Caring for injured wildlife requires both knowledge and compassion on our part; however, done properly it can significantly increase chances of survival in many cases. By approaching each situation carefully and consulting with professionals whenever possible, we can ensure that our actions help rather than harm wild animals in need of assistance. With continued effort from scientists around the world working together towards preservation and conservation initiatives, we can create a better future for all wildlife species everywhere!

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