Last week we took a look at the dos and don’ts of handling and caring for sick and injured native birds and how the correct approach can mean the difference between life and death for them. This week it’s the four-legged varieties and the slithering kind.
Native animals can be very dangerous when placed under threat or if they are injured.
Incorrect handling can result in the handler being bitten or kicked and the animal being stressed or suffering broken limbs or back and neck injuries. Covering an animal with a blanket or confining it in a bag will reduce stress to the animal and facilitate its examination.
Marsupial carers (WIRES) or rangers should be called out to capture and treat an injured animal.
However under no circumstances should an inexperienced carer ever attempt to handle a large wild kangaroo.
As with birds, if you find injured wildlife, you must note down exactly where you found them, as unless they can be released to their own area, they are unlikely to survive.
Never ever handle snakes, as their strike can be deadly, or flying foxes and fruit bats as they carry the Australian bat lyssavirus, which can be fatal to humans.
Please note that it is against the law to keep wild animals and birds if you don’t have a permit, even if you plan to release them.
Wildlife kept in captivity is not in the best interest of the animal. If they cannot be rehabilitated within six weeks, if their injuries are extremely severe, or if the location where it was found is unknown, euthanasia is unfortunately the kinder option. Contact WIRES about how to handle wildlife. The wrong intervention can cause the death of the animal or you.