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Old 22nd December 2012, 02:14 AM
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Default Injured Wildlife Care

As a wildlife rescuer/shelter helper, I've been lucky enough to be involved with some amazing animals, from baby koalas & wombats to penguins, possums, gliders, echidnas, bats, black swans, blue tongues & more I've seen a lot, lol...& learnt a few things that may help anyone who gets into the great outdoors & cares bout our wildlife. As its koala breeding season atm & we're getting more crossing the roads to find some lovely ladies, lol, so car hits are on the rise again, I thought this is a good time to do this thread....



We all get out bush & see lots of wildlife...great

But what do you do if you see an injured koala, kangaroo or wombat? I'm sure this has happened to many of us, sometimes without us even knowing. That dead animal by the side of the road may have a live & healthy young (or 2) in its pouch.

Short answer is, PLEASE don't ignore it!

Call a local wildlife hotline (you often see the signs posted on roads) or call directories & ask for one.


In SE Melbourne its Animalia Wildlife Shelter 0435 822 699.


You can look us up at www.animaliawildlife.org.au


Michelle runs the shelter & she’ll tell you exactly what you need to do. Her knowledge & animal skill is astounding! I’ve seen her do things you would not think possible

2nd choice would be a vet, but most don't have a clue bout wildlife, esp marsupials & will just euthanise them

Don't believe anything your hear from a certain celebrity vet in Sydney who shall remain nameless lol

A few helpful points:

First Contact Care:


* If you see an animal that looks in trouble, even if it looks dead, pull over & check it. If alive but injured,
place it in a cardboard box (not echidnas, they're brilliant diggers) with holes for ventilation, or a crate with a loose fitting lid if you have one. If you don't have either of these, a pillow case or shirt tied at the ends can be used. Don't cradle the animal. Wildlife see us as predators & stress is a big killer so avoid it - keep it dark & quiet so please turn the stereo down or off

* If its dead, check the pouch...don't worry, its not as gross as it seems. If there is a baby inside, DON'T pull it off the teat, that may injure its delicate mouth/jaw. Use a pair of scissors to cut the teat.

*Wombats & koalas have backward facing pouches.

*
If the animal is dead with no young, look around for a joey, he may be out of the pouch but will remain nearby. Then please drag the body away from the road. Many animals esp birds are hit by cars while scavenging on a carcass

* Provide warmth; injured or orphaned wildlife cannot regulate body temperature. Fill a hot water bottle or soft drink bottle with hot water, not boiling. Ensure you wrap the bottle twice in a towel & place the bottle next to the animal, scrunching the rest of the towel over & around the animal.
Do not provide warmth to echidnas.

* DON'T give the animal anything to eat.

*
If its hot & you cant contact a wildlife carer & the animal looks dehydrated, offer them some water (not pouch young). We use syringes (needle-less lol) but if you don't have one try a spoon or small bowl. Don't let them have too much until you contact a carer.

*There's a lot of hype about bats atm. Most of it is rubbish!! However, they can carry the lyssavirus, which if left untreated can be fatal. In Australia there is only one recorded case of this. If you're scratched or bitten by a bat you're rescuing, your doctor can give you a shot for it. My advice is to exercise much caution with bats, but don't be paranoid!

* Birds need caution not to damage their flight feathers, which can take a looong time to heal. Fishing line entanglement &/or hooks can be tricky as the bird needs to be caught but is often able to fly. Stealth is your friend

CAUTION: water birds with a long pointy beak & a long neck are fish catchers. They are very good at this & as a defense will deliberately try to poke your eyes. Wear glasses & keep your head well away. Best is to throw a towel over them & loosely hold the beak through the towel

*Penguins are not meant to be on the beach. If you see one, catch it & treat as above in point 1. Penguins are warm blooded birds & its probably exhausted & very cold. The biggest misconception is they need to be kept cool...they don't, they need warmth.

* If you see a seal on the beach, DON'T approach it. They not only are protected (the fine for harassing a seal is up to $25,000), but can & will bite in defense. Their mouths often contain salmonella.

* If you see a mouse or rat running around your campsite, don't presume that's what it is. There are many small native marsupials who can be difficult to tell apart, many of which are on the verge of extinction.

As I think of more, I'll add to this post.

Remember, many Australian species are threatened or endangered, esp koalas. They need our help.

If we don't help them, many iconic Aussie animals wont be around for the next generation....
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Last edited by NachaLuva; 29th December 2012 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 02:20 AM
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All good stuff, NL.

You forgot to mention the other thing that seal mouths are full of - bloody big teeth, and lots of them ... . Even teensy, weensy seal pups have a surprisingly large array of surprisingly large, surprisingly sharp teeth ...
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Old 22nd December 2012, 02:24 AM
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Default Some more pics

A miracle story that came out of the devastating Black Saturday bushfires...an Eastern Pygmy Possum that amazingly was recognised, not killed as a mouse. This is as big as they get, but still a possum!


A black swan I rescued at Brighton Beach in the middle of Melbourne, suffering severe dehydration. He was seen drinking from the bay as the temp hit 46C!:


A moulting Little Penguin found on a beach in Port Phillip Bay. They are very vulnerable like this & cant go in the water:


A beautiful Brushtail possum munching on some gum flowers. Note: never feed possums fruit, it makes them sick:


A Tawny Frogmouth, recovering from being hit by a car. Interestingly, they are not an owl but a nightjar:


All the above animals were successfully rehabilitated & released back into the wild, where they are meant to be

I had to sneak this one in...its one of my favourite photos from a trip to Rottnest I, WA. Not a rescue lol, but too cute to ignore:
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Last edited by NachaLuva; 22nd December 2012 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:01 AM
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There's some great info there Nachaluva

It reminds me of something that happened to me about 3 years ago.

To cut a long story short, I found this little fella (baby brushtail possum) whilst out walking my dogs.



He/she was just sitting in the middle of the road, waiting to be a potential road kill victim It's mother was nowhere to be found
I carefully picked him/her up & put him into my top pocket, where it would hopefully be warm & could hear my heart beat

Once back home, I made a couple of calls. As I was unable to care for it properly.

I kept in touch with the W.I.R.E.S rescue lady who took care of him/her & am happy to say it made it & was returned back to the wild

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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:09 AM
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Thanks RB. Yep seals are not to be messed with. We have to have volunteers guarding the seals so silly people dont do silly things like put their kid on top to pose for a photo! Yes...thats happened!!

Thats great Mr.T, cute lil fella, aint he

Was it windy? Sometimes the babies fall off their mothers backs during high winds. Or his mum may have been attacked by something & dropped her. Both are pretty common. I love it when MOPs (Member of Public, lol) keep in touch with a happy ending
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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:28 AM
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I seem to remember it being warm, but not windy.

The part that really sticks in my memory though, is that when I handed him/her over, it wrapped it's tail tightly around my finger & didn't want to let go
It was actually a mission trying to get him/her off

Yes it was a great feeling, knowing that it made it back o the wind where he/she belongs

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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr turbo View Post
The part that really sticks in my memory though, is that when I handed him/her over, it wrapped it's tail tightly around my finger & didn't want to let go
It was actually a mission trying to get him/her off
haha yeah its funny lol. They have a true prehensile tail that is just like a 5th leg...

Quote:
Yes it was a great feeling, knowing that it made it back o the wind where he/she belongs
Yep, thats the best part

We just released some ducks, a brushy & a couple of ringies, all back at home in the wild where they're happiest

At the moment amongst others we have an arctic skua. They migrate from the arctic circle to Oz every year...thats one big round trip! When I rescued him he was so exhausted he couldnt even stand...now he's prob not far from being released too
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Old 29th December 2012, 01:59 AM
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Good on ya Nachaluva, I'm very much the same - always picking up injured and sick wildlife - especially birds. I absolutely love birds (and possums, lizards and pretty much anything native).

Been planning on getting my wildlife carer license for a while now. I will get onto it soon.
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Old 29th December 2012, 02:34 AM
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Great stuff mate! Some good info there..

I will however say that after hitting and seeing Kangaroo's being hit by cars is horrible. For both us and them. I have however put them out of their misery if they are still alive rather than let them suffer and die.
In the outback/bush too there isn't much point in calling the hotline in a situation like this. I like to think I have done the right thing in not letting them suffer before death.
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Old 29th December 2012, 02:51 AM
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Funny how to me, these animals are exotic, extraordinary creatures we see at the zoo... while they are "common roadkills" for you. Eh!

Some of these are cute I grew up in the city, so I did not have many animals around... but we did recover and help a few birds that had struck windows, including a few birds of prey over the years... I remember an owl and a sparrow. We were very surprised to see them in the middle of the city.
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