Due to bushfires, changing weather conditions, urban sprawl and other various factors we have had growing numbers of injured wildlife bought into our hospitals.
What to do if you find a baby bird:
- The best thing to do is place the bird back up in the nest if possible.
- If not, you can often make a replica nest by strapping an ice-cream container to the tree and filling it with leaves etc. The parents will then come down and feed the baby and it will have a much better chance of survival than a hand-raised bird.
- If this is not possible, place the bird in a dark, warm box and if it is uninjured contact Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services on 9413 4300 or WIRES on 1300 094 737 ASAP and they will organise to send out a carer.
For injured birds, mammals or reptiles:
- If you find an injured bird, mammal or reptile, place it in a warm dark box and bring it in to your nearest Sydney Animal Hospital so we can assess its injuries, commence treatment and re-release the animal as soon as possible.
- Make sure you make a very careful note as to exactly where the animal was found so it can be released back into the same spot or as near as safely possible.
Read more on wildlife
Unfortunately, we live in a built-up area where occasionally our native wildlife comes off second best against cars, our pets, windows or even to extremes in the weather.
If you find a sick, injured or an orphaned animal, whether it be a native animal or a pet, similar principles apply.
Remove any threat to the animal, this includes keeping all people and pets away from the animal, to minimise stress for you to collect and take to your local vet or until a wildlife rescuer arrives.
If it is a baby bird, as long as it is in no danger, watch from a distance and wait to see if the parents are around, as they may be watching and will come down to feed the baby.
If injured the animal will need to see a vet to be assessed and treated. If you have available, wear appropriate PPE, including gloves when touching any animal, gently place a towel over the animal and place it in a ventilated box with a lid and transport it carefully to the nearest vet or wait for the wildlife rescuer to arrive. After placing the animal in a box you should immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.
Do not give the animal water or food, unless instructed to by a vet or a wildlife rescuer. As they can be killed easily by aspirating water, milk or being fed the wrong foods. It is best to get them to a vet as soon as possible.
Vets will NOT charge to see and assess wildlife, but will need to decide if they can ever be brought back to a condition where they can be released back into the wild and live an active and pain-free life. They will be passed onto wildlife carers as soon as we know they have been assessed, treated, and have a care-plan in place for their rehabilitation.
Please note the EXACT location where the animal was found. Many young animals can possibly be reunited with their parents if we know the location. Many native animals are also very territorial and it is critical that we release them where they were found, when they are ready to release, to ensure their best chance of survival.
Please DO NOT approach snakes, monitor lizards, bats, large kangaroos or raptors such as eagles, falcons or hawks. As these animals require specialist handling and MUST be rescued by trained wildlife rescuers.
If the animal is uninjured but you are concerned please call WIRES 1300 094 737 or Sydney Wildlife rescue/advise line on 9413 4300 to discuss further.
If you have any further questions, please contact your local Sydney Animal Hospitals on:
Newtown (02)9519 4111
69-73 Erskineville Road Erskineville Open Monday to Friday 7am-11pm Saturday & Sunday 7am-6pm
Inner West (02)9516 1466
1A Northumberland Ave Stanmore Open Monday to Friday 7am-8pm Saturday & Sunday 8am-6pm
Norwest (02)8883 0411
Unit 8, 1-3 Celebration Dr Bella Vista Open Monday to Friday 7am-9pm Saturday & Sunday 8am-6pm
Kellyville (02)8883 0533
106 Windsor Rd Kellyville Open Monday to Friday 7am-9pm Saturday & Sunday 8am-6pm
Newport (02)9997 4609
1 Palm Rd Newport Open Monday to Sunday 7.30am-7pm
Avalon (02)9918 0833
710 Barrenjoey Rd Avalon Beach Open Monday to Friday 8am-7pm Saturday 8.30am-4pm closed Sundays