WHAT TO DO IN A WILDLIFE EMERGENCY
CALL KIRSTY OR DEB.... 0447 636 953 OR 0418 328 671
Injured or Orphaned Mammals
If you find an injured mammal please call Bohollow for assistance immediately. If the animal is on the road, only move it if it is safe for you to do so. Your safety must be a priority. It is helpful to cover the animal first as this often calms them a little and reduces stress.
If the animal is a joey (kangaroo, glider, possum, etc) and still in the pouch of a dead mother
* Before removing a joey from a pouch make sure it is not attached to the teat. If so, you need to cut the teat off with a sharp knife or scissors. If you just pull the joey off, it may receive damage to its soft mouth which will hinder it from drinking and may cause its death
* Wrap the joey in something soft. A jumper or t-shirt or any clean piece of cloth will suffice
* If the joey is unfurred it is helpful to put it down your shirt. Skin on skin can be the best way to warm a quickly cooling animal.
* DO NOT FEED ANY ANIMAL OR BIRD until you have spoken to Kirsty or Deb from Bohollow. This is very important because incorrect feeding can cause major problems to the animal and may even lead to its death. This includes fluids. If the animal will not drink from an offered container DO NOT HANDFEED FLUIDS as animals and birds are easily aspirated.
* Please keep the animal away from your pets and children. Stress is the biggest killer and even though an animal may seem okay and bright, it will be under enormous shock and stress. Humans are seen as predators, so it is not a good and safe feeling for them, no matter how they present.
* Make the animal warm and quiet. If you have a hot water bottle or even an empty plastic bottle, you can fill it with hot, not boiling, water, wrap it in a towel and place it in with the animal. Please do not place it directly on the animal as this may cause burns.
* If an animal which is nocturnal is out and about in the daylight please report it to Bohollow. If a koala is at the bottom of a tree at lunchtime, or a possum is on a fence at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, it is not normal. Please call then.
If you come across a sick, injured or orphaned bird please call Bohollow straight away as time is often critical in successful treatment and rehabilitation.
* If a bird is on a road or roadside and it is safe for you to do so, please contain the bird. Many native birds can bite and have sharp claws so it is best to use a towel or even a jumper, etc to place over the bird to protect yourself and this also lessens the stress of capture for the bird.
* ALL native birds should be contained in a cardboard box with a clean towel or rag on bottom with box closed. In transportation birds slide in a box with no material to stand/lay on. Do not use hay or straw with any native bird as can cause respiratory problems.
* DO NOT place any native bird in cage as most wild birds will stress and can injure themselves and damage feathers. Once feathers are damaged rehabilitation is a lot longer as feathers have to regrow before release. Also many cages have small doors which make it difficult for us to remove a stressed bird without injury to ourselves and the bird.
* If a bird is caught on barbed wire fence ALWAYS cut the wire either side of the bird. DO NOT attempt to remove bird from wire while still on the fence. Removing barbed wire takes care and experience to minimise further damage to the bird. Contain the bird by wrapping securely in a towel to minimise movement and further damage. Barbed wire cases need to get to a shelter as SOON AS POSSIBLE.
* Raptors (birds of prey) have extremely sharp talons. If attempting to pick up a bird of prey use towel, etc and take special care of its feet and talons. Do not attempt to catch a large bird of prey such as a Wedge-tailed Eagle.
* Nests and young which are found on the ground need to be picked up and come into a shelter. If a young bird cannot fly at all, even if parents are feeding it, it will not survive predators, cold or heat.
* Some species such as Magpies, Ravens and Butcherbirds leave the nest one or two days before they are able to fly properly. These birds are called branchers and are cared for by their parents. Branchers are able to hop, jump and flutter or fly into a tree or shrub high enough to roost out of harms way. Branchers DO NOT need rescuing. If a bird cannot do this it needs to come into care. If in doubt, observe the birds behaviour for awhile before attempting to catch it or call it in.
* Do not attempt to rescue a bird if it is a danger to you or the bird. Bohollow specialises in the rescue of birds and rescues such as injured birds on water, up trees, caught or trapped in any way can be difficult and different methods for different species are used and experience is often needed.
* You can offer a bird water but DO NOT force a bird to drink or use eyedropper or syringe to place water in its beak. DO NOT feed. Many species, especially the small species or young birds cannot last long without correct food so time is vital for them to get to a shelter as soon as possible.
If you are able to pick up or catch any native bird it means it is injured, sick or orphaned so it needs to come to a shelter to be assessed.
* Barbed wire is a danger to all wildlife and many animals are euthanized due to the injuries caused by this wire. When removing an animal from barbed wire it is helpful to put a blanket over the wire where you are cutting to avoid it flicking up and causing serious injury to the rescuer.
* ALWAYS take note of EXACTLY where you find a bird/animal. This is vital to a lot of species for release, especially if territorial.
* Please take care in noting the exact location when reporting an injured bird/animal. If possible leave something on the roadside or on a fence that helps us in locating the spot. We can waste critical time for the bird/animal searching for them when we receive incorrect or insufficient information on a location.
* Taking into account your personal safety, remove dead animals from road as they attract carrion eating birds and then they in turn often get hit by vehicles.
* Always check pouches of recently deceased mammals. If an animal has coloured spray paint mark on it this means it has already been checked for pouched young by a carer or rescuer.
* If you are unable to pick up an injured or orphaned animal/bird, if able to do so without causing it further injury, place a box or basket over the bird/animal then place a towel or blanket over the basket so it is safe from predators until we can get there.
* If you come across any fresh roadkill in reasonable condition drop it off at the nearest Bohollow wildlife shelter for food for the birds of prey or alternatively, if you know it is within the areas of one of our shelters call us to let us know location.
Severe weather events such as flood, wind, rain, heat can all cause casualties for our wildllife. Please watch out for them. Put extra water out in paddocks or yards in heat events. Make sure your birdbaths are full!!!
* Tortoises/turtles with shell damage can often be repaired so pick them up.
* If you see a tortoise on the road in the process of crossing and it does not appear injured, please remove it and place well off the road and gravel on the side it was heading towards.
* Take care in picking up lizards such as Blue tongues and Bearded dragons as they can bite! If possible use a towel, etc and place in a box with clean towel, etc on bottom.
* DO NOT attempt to catch a goanna. Experience is required to handle these large lizards.
* DO NOT attempt to handle an injured or trapped snake. ALL the snakes we come across in this area are venomous, even the young, so it doesn't matter how tiny they are!!
* Bohollow has had training and experience in handling venomous snakes.
Microbats - you can pick up with a towel, face washer, etc and place it in a totally sealed container with airholes and clean towel, rag, etc. Microbats are the size of mice and can escape through the smallest of gaps and even if injured and unable to fly, can often still climb quite easily!!
Any microbat which is found on the ground or roosting in an exposed place during daylight hours is sick, injured or orphaned and needs to come to a shelter for assessment.
Flying foxes - DO NOT attempt to catch or pick up a flying fox. They may be a carrier of the Lyssavirus. If you are SCRATCHED OR BITTEN YOU MUST SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY.
Bohollow is vaccinated against the Lyssavirus and is legally allowed to attend them. Call Bohollow straight away.
Any Flying fox which is found on the ground or roosting low to the ground needs to be assessed.
We hope that this information helps you and the wildlife you are attempting to assist.