How To Handle Sick Or Injured Wildlife

Injured koala

It’s inevitable that after a natural disaster many wildlife animals become displaced from their natural environments and often become injured or sick as a result.

What to do if you come across sick or injured wildlife:

First and foremost, it is important to understand that sick or injured wildlife could be distressed and retaliate out of fear or defence. You should approach injured or sick wildlife with extreme caution and be prepared.

If you are able to handle sick or injured wildlife then we recommend that you do the following to ensure the safety of yourself and to prevent further injury or stress to the animal:

Assess the situation:

Ensure that it is safe for you to approach the injured or sick animal

Remain Calm:

It is important that you remain calm when approaching the animal, you do not want to startle or scare it.

Slowly approach the animal:

If you can get close to the animal, place a towel, blanket, jumper or pillowcase gently over the animal’s head. This will help keep it calm and aid with handling. If it is a bird you will need to secure the wings and limbs to prevent the bird injuring itself any further.

Take note of where you found the animal:

It is vital that you provide your vet or a wildlife career the location of where you found the animal, as it will need to be released back into the same environment once rehabilitated.

Transport the animal:

In a secure well ventilated cardboard box or cage.

Take the injured or sick animal to your local Greencross Vet or Wildlife shelter:

Your local Greencross practice will assess the severity of the injuries and provide first aid care to stabilize the animal and make it as comfortable as possible. From here the animal will be passed onto a wildlife carer for rehabilitation until well enough to be re-released into its natural environment.

Injured joey


Should you ever come across a potentially dangerous animal e.g. Snake or Bat DO NOT APPROACH IT. It is best to contact a professional handler to come and remove it or contact a Wildlife Shelter. Below are just three of the many Wildlife organisations that can provide you with advice and support for any injured or sick wildlife animal.

WIRES – 13 000 WIRES or 13 00 094 737
Wildlife Victoria – 03 9445 0310
Wildlife Queensland – 1300 130 372

Your nearest clinic: Undefined