WILDLIFE MEETS THE MOTOR VEHICLE.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Don’t put yourself at risk!! Make sure that you are not the next road accident victim. If the animal is still alive, call WRIN’s emergency number or one of the other organizations listed below, or try the nearest police station. Hopelessly injured animals should be euthanased as quickly as possible. Be careful approaching an injured kangaroo. While normally inoffensive, injured kangaroos may lash out with their hind legs and cause you injury. Wombats and Possums will bite!
Check the pouch. Pouch young do survive these accidents and can live for many days after their mother’s death. It may be necessary to cut the mother’s pouch in order to retrieve the orphan.
Keep the orphan warm. Place it inside your shirt, next to your skin. Cover yourself with a jumper. This is an effective way of rewarming – often the orphan is very cold. Even better, if you have a flannelette pillowcase, place the orphan inside it and then inside your shirt. This simulates the pouch. If the animal appears injured, try to take it directly to a Vet.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE HOME.
Keep the orphan quiet. Don’t be tempted to show it off. Looming human faces and household noises are terrifying to a newly-orphaned animal that has left the safety of its mother’s pouch. Even though they look cute and cuddly, remember they are wild animals. They are not like puppies and kittens that love to be handled. Stress can kill the orphan!
Heating. Furless orphans are unable to control their own body temperature. They will need artificial heat. They need to be kept at a temperature of 33-34 degrees C. A hot water bottle filled with hot tap water is ideal. Place the orphan in its pouch and jumper in a box or washing basket lined with a woollen blanket. The hot water bottle should be near(but not touching) the pouch. The outside of the pouch should feel warm, not hot. Overheating can be dangerous – a kangaroo will lick its paws and a wombats paws will turn bright red.
Furred animals should be comfortable just in a warm room with a few jumpers covering them.
PLEASE DON’T ATTEMPT TO FEED THE ORPHAN. Marsupials require special milk formula. Cow’s milk is NOT suitable and will kill the orphan!
*Keep the orphan warm and quiet. This will ease its stress.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL WILDLIFE GROUP.
In Victoria try the following telephone numbers for assistance.
- W.R.I.N. Inc. 0419 356433
- Wildlife Victoria 13 000 94535
- Help for Wildlife 0417 380 687
- RACV 13 11 11
- Badgar Wildlife Rescue 1300 223 427
- AWARE (Frankston) 0412 433 727
- WRES 13 000 94535
The orphan will be placed in the hands of an experienced licensed carer, who will assess the animal and obtain veterinary attention if necessary.
HOW CAN YOU HELP OUR WILDLIFE?
Drive slowly on country roads, especially from dusk to dawn, when animals are most active.
CAR RESCUE KIT.
Several woollen jumpers
Hot water bottle
Cardboard box or washing basket.