Always consider your personal safety first. If you are driving ensure you find a safe place to pull over.
When rescuing wildlife from the roadside be aware of passing traffic and wear a hi-vis vest if you have one.
Approach the animal with care.
All animals will be shocked and cold.
Keep the animal in a warm place and out of draughts.(see special notes for Echidnas)
Do not leave the animal in the sun as it can be burned.
Do Not Feed
All native animals have highly specialised diets. The animal can do without food until you are able to get it to a qualified person. A shocked and cold animal is not concerned about food. Attempting to feed an animal can cause further stress and even death from choking.
Offering unsuitable food can further compromise the animal’s outcome. Contrary to popular belief Weetbix, bread, or cows milk are NOT suitable food substitutes.
Note the exact location you find the animal as all rehabilitators endeavour to return rehabilitated animals to their own territories.
Native animals are extremely susceptible to stress and this alone is often enough to kill them.
Keep the animal as quiet as possible and away from loud noises such as radios, televisions, household machinery and children.
Keep domestic animals well away from the animal.
Whilst you may know your pet is harmless or that the animal is safe from your pet, the animal doesn’t and will become further stressed by the presence of your pets even if they are unseen.
Get the animal to a qualified person as soon as possible. This should be either a wildlife rehabilitator or vet (please be aware that some vets may charge).
Delays can be fatal so please don’t keep the animal for a few hours or days before calling for help.
Special Note on Cat Attacks
Any animal attacked by a cat will undoubtedly have puncture wounds which may not be visible. Any wound inflicted by a cat, no matter how small, will cause septicaemia. Left untreated this will kill the animal within 48 hours.
Although an animal may appear to be uninjured please do not let it go as it will need treatment to survive, so it is essential to get the animal to a vet.
If possible place the animal in a smaller size box.
Too large a box will allow the animal to further damage itself or its feathers.
Cages are not recommended.
Line the bottom with a thick cloth. This gives the animal a sense of security.
Ensure the cloth has no loose threads that could tangle claws.
Ensure that the container is well fastened
You don’t want an animal loose in the house, or in your car while driving.
Do not place water in the box.
The animal will invariably upset it and end up with wet fur or feathers, further increasing its heat loss.
For the same reason do not put ducklings in water.