If you discover injured or orphaned wildlife, here are the best steps to take:
- YOUR safety first! Please ensure you are not stepping into danger to rescue this creature.
- For all types of wildlife, call Wildlife Victoria 1300 094 535. They can direct you to your nearest volunteer wildlife carer or vet.
- Use a thick blanket, towel or something similar to gently scoop up the animal. Please be aware that wildlife ARE NOT TAME and may bite or scratch when frightened or in pain.
- Transfer it into a secure box of pet carry. Wildlife will often initially be in shock, so place them in a quiet dark place to help them calm down.
- NEVER give human food (including milk) to wildlife as it is often poisonous to them.
- On extremely hot days, dehydration is a common cause of death in wildlife. It is NOT advisable to force water or other liquids into the throats of wildlife. Always call for professional help or advice before attempting to give anything orally to wildlife. You can help your local wildlife by placing water bowls or containers filled with fresh cool water in your yard/garden during the peak of summer.
WOMBATS WITH MANGE:
Sarcoptic Mange is an infectious disease caused by a mange mite which burrows into the skin of the unfortunate infected animal and causes a slow and painful death. If you see mange infected wombats at Venus Bay please report the location, time of day and other details to Wildlife Victoria 1300 094 535 who will contact a local carer.
How do you know a wombat has mange? Look for the following signs:
- The wombat may be grazing during daylight hours and will appear tame. Mange infection compromises the wombat’s defenses and instincts. At this stage the animal is very sick and in need of immediate attention. Do not disturb the wombat and keep dogs and children well away.
- Record the location, time of day, condition of the wombat, size and colour. These are important details for the wildlife carer. Do not try to capture, approach, pat or otherwise disturb the wombat.
Baby possums cannot generate their own body heat, so it is very important to immediately offer a constant heat source similar to your body temperature or a few degrees higher. Failure to do so can be fatal. Babies need special wildlife formula, regular feeds and have particular toileting needs that the mother would usually give, so it is best to get it to a wildlife carer or vet as soon as possible.
Adult possums are nocturnal, so to find one out in the open in daylight usually means illness or injury. Carefully wrap it in a towel and take it to your nearest vet.