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Basic first aid for wildlife

If you find sick or injured wildlife, the best thing you can do to increase their survival chances is to take them to an experienced wildlife rehabilitator or vet.

  • To find your nearest one, call the Wildcare Helpline on 08 9474 9055.
  • They hold a list of registered volunteer rehabilitators across Western Australia.
  • Do not keep wildlife without seeking expert advice, as the animal may not survive.

You should contain the animal securely so that it does not injure itself further or injure you.

  • If you are worried about picking up an animal, get someone to help.
  • Use a towel or similar to place over the animal and gently pick it up.
  • Place it into an appropriately sized, ventilated box.
  • Keep the animal:
    • WARM
    • in the DARK
    • in a QUIET place.

This reduces stress levels and makes transportation easier. It’s also important to have as little contact with the animal as possible.Bats may carry and pass on lyssavirus. If you find an injured bat do not pick it up without suitable protection, such as thick leather gloves, and place into a suitable container immediately.

Do not offer food or water unless advised to do so by a rehabilitator. (Definitely NEVER bread or milk!)

Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling wildlife.

Remember your own safety as well as the safety of the animal.

  • Injured wildlife will be frightened and stressed, and can be very dangerous.
  • Be careful of teeth, claws, beaks etc when approaching and handling.

To assist the rehabilitator and the future release, note:

  • the location that you found the animal
  • the time of day
  • what condition it was in when you found it.

If you find an injured kangaroo

If you are near a road - be aware of traffic, use caution and put your safety first. Do not walk onto a busy or dangerous road. The police (131 444) or Main Roads (138 138) may be contacted for assistance if there is a road hazard.

Caution! Kangaroos have a strong kick and sharp claws and may be dangerous. Injured animals will be stressed and can be unpredictable.

Do not approach the animal or attempt to catch it - chasing an injured animal may result in a worse injury and unnecessary stress for the animal. Remember the animal is wild and may feel stressed or threatened by your presence - stay calm, speak softly, move slowly. Secure the area and try to prevent other people or pets approaching the injured animal. Watch from a distance to see if it needs help and if so, contact the Helpline on 9474 9055.

Be sure to check the surrounding area for any young nearby. If you find a baby animal, wrap it up to keep it warm and contact the Helpline for advice.

For more information on how to help specific species, contact the Wildcare Helpline on 08 9474 9055.


Other agencies that may be able to help if the helpline is busy:

South West Region

Goldfields Region

  • Goldfields Native Animal Care Inc -  0417 676 898


For further information, visit Living with Wildlife.

For more information regarding safety and what you need to be aware of please visit