13 October 2020

Australia has some of the most unique and interesting wildlife in the world. When left alone, these animals embody the Aussie spirit – they’re laidback, fun-loving and curious.

During spring, native wildlife becomes more active, so it’s a great time to brush up on how we can ensure a safe environment for them to remain happy and healthy; plus, what to do if you find an injured animal.

rescued joey in arms of RSPCA InspectorWhen you’re at home:

To help wildlife around your home, it’s a good idea to leave bowls of fresh, clean water out in shady locations during warmer weather. If you use a large container, provide a rock or stick so that small animals can climb out. Place the container in an area that’s protected from predators and away from your pets. Unless advised to by a registered wildlife carer or veterinarian, don’t attempt to feed wild animals.

When you’re out and about:

If you find a sick or injured wild animal, contact your nearest vet or wildlife organisation as soon as possible.  Wild animals become stressed by handling, so you should seek expert advice before handling an injured animal.

During spring, it’s not uncommon to find baby birds on the ground. In most cases, these are fledglings who are learning to fly. Fledgings can be identified by their flight feathers, and – unless they’re in immediate danger – they’re usually best left alone. If you happen across a baby bird with only fluffy down, then it’s a nestling likely to have fallen accidently. Place it back in the nest if possible, or call the Wildcare Helpline for advice.

injured cygnet in arms of RSPCA animal attendantWhen you’re on the roads:

It is helpful when driving in new places to research and be aware of high wildlife areas.

When driving at dusk and dawn, be extra vigilant, and watch for animals on either side of the road, as these are the times wildlife are most active.

If you do notice an animal on the road, it is important to consider the safety of yourself and other drivers. Never swerve to avoid hitting an animal, but try to slow down or come to a safe stop.

If you see an animal that may have already been hit by a car, check pouches and surrounding areas for young if it’s safe to do so.

For advice on sick or injured wildlife, contact the 24-hour Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055. If that line is unavailable, contact RSPCA, Rangers or local Police for action or advice. In the meantime, do not feed the animal or give it water, as this may delay treatment and could compromise their recovery.