Photo by Jason G Harris
Injured wildlife contacts
Wheatbelt Vet Services
Wildcare Help Line
Travelling to Geraldton
Sanford Vet, Geraldton
Greenough Wildlife Park
Travelling to Perth
Drovers Vet, Joondalup
Balcatta Vet (24hrs/7 days)
9345 4644If all else fails, just contact any Vet.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND A SICK, INJURED OR ORPHANED ANIMAL?
A marsupial joey (kangaroo, possum, or wombat) can live up to 5 days inside the pouch of its dead mother.
You can provide assistance as follows:
1. Stop in a SAFE PLACE.
2. Approach any wild animal WITH CAUTION. Kangaroos particularly, are capable of lashing out with their powerful back legs, even when severely injured.
3. If the animal is dead and you are able to safely do so, move it off the road, to avoid predators being hit or causing a motor vehicle accident.
4. If animal is critically injured, it should be humanely euthanased as soon as possible. Kangaroos with leg fractures cannot be saved. With a smaller animal, by covering the animal’s head to calm it, you may be able to inflict forceful blunt trauma directly to the head to end its suffering. If you are unable to euthanase an animal in distress, please seek help by phoning the 24 hour Wildcare helpline on 9474 9055.
5. With kangaroos or possums, or other “pouched” animals, please check the underbelly for live young. A bulge or movement inside a pouch may indicate live young. (A kangaroo, wombat or possum joey can live up to 5 days in its dead mother’s pouch.)
1. Remove joey as gently as possible and keep warm. If joey is still attached to mum’s teat, cut the teat off as far down as possible and leave it in the joey’s mouth. If you are unable to cut the teat, gently enclose the joey in your hand and move your fingers to end of the nose, gently push the sides of its mouth and then ease the teat off the mouth. To remove the joey from the pouch, use a towel or some kind of cloth or glove over your hand, reach in slowly and try to envelop the joey. This action will also rub the mother’s scent onto the towel, which will help calm the joey. If the mother has been dead for some time and has a rotting smell, avoid using a towel.
2. If you are absolutely unable to safely remove a joey from the pouch of a dead animal, an alternative is to leave the young in the pouch and transport the dead animal, with young intact, to your nearest Vet or Parks and Wildlife Office.
3. Please take note when you have removed a furless joey, whether there is a 2nd longer teat in the pouch – this may indicate that the dead animal has another older joey at heel, which may also need rescuing. If you are unable to find the older joey, please report this to Parks and Wildlife office or the 24 hour Wildcare helpline on 9474 9055. Take note of your location.
4. If joey is unfurred, wrap in ANYTHING, and place down the front of your shirt or jumper to provide body warmth. If you have access to a hot water bottle, wrap hot water bottle in a towel and place joey (wrapped up), in an esky or bag. You can also fill any empty plastic bottle with warm water and wrap in a towel or similar.
5. DO NOT MAKE WATER TOO HOT, and never place the joey on direct heat, as you may COOK it.
6. If you find a young furred joey, attempt to catch by throwing a blanket or towel over it. DO NOT CHASE, as an instant heart attack may result.
7. FIRST PRIORITY – Keep the animal QUIET & WARM, away from loud noises, pets, young children, and car radios. Covering the animal’s head is often beneficial.
8. DO NOT OFFER ANY FOOD OR DRINK, as young joeys do not drink water, and they require a specially formulated milk.
NOTE: A young joey requires the same care as a premature human baby.
If an animal is critically injured (e.g. compound fractures, excessive wounds inflicted by other animals), it should be humanely euthanased as soon as possible, by the use of forceful blunt trauma directly to the head. If you are required to euthenase an animal, place something over their head to comfort/quieten them.
1. Handle an injured animal as little as possible.
2. Place in a safe, warm, quiet, dark environment (away from children, pets & drafts). Old towels or windcheaters (and a hot water bottle if possible) placed in a box or esky with a towel over the top, is ideal. A smaller box is preferable to a larger one, so that the animal’s movements are restricted, thus eliminating further injury. Tiny birds may be placed in a take-away food container lined with tissues and covered with a dark cloth and placed under a table lamp (in the interim period only) – any warmth provided for any animal must be indirect.
3. DO NOT OFFER FOOD, as sometimes internal injuries may be present and similarly, incorrect food may cause further harm.
4. If animal appears hot or dehydrated, you may offer a small amount of water via a syringe or eyedropper, by trickling gently over the beak.