What to do if you come across sick or injured wildlife on your travels
As you’re driving around exploring North Queensland, it’s possible that you could come across sick or injured wildlife on your travels. The best thing you can do in this situation is call a local Wildlife Rescue hotline.
FNQ Wildlife Rescue is a group of dedicated, registered wildlife carers within the region of Townsville up to Weipa, who are trained to take care of sick, orphaned or injured wildlife. They do an amazing job and provide around-the-clock care for the native animals in their care as well as covering all food and medical costs.
Over the past 12 months 1,054 animals have been treated through FNQ Wildlife Rescue, ranging from birds and flying foxes through to wallabies and reptiles. Seventy-five percent of those treated were birds.
It is similar for the birds brought in with many needing to be hand-reared after falling during their maiden flight, being blown out of their nest in a storm, being attacked by a cat or dog, flying in to something or being hit by a car.
But with care, all of these animals can be nursed back to health.
What to do if you come across injured wildlife
President of FNQ Wildlife Rescue, Renee Pitcher, says it is important that travellers don’t try to take care of native animals themselves.
“If a traveller happens to come across one of these injured animals, they must consider their own safety first and then contact FNQ Wildlife Rescue as soon as possible,” she says. “And please don’t try to feed them as many animals only eat certain foods and by feeding them people can actually make them sicker.”
FNQ suggests that if anyone does come across injured wildlife, they need to approach the animal with caution as native wildlife may put up a fight to defend themselves even if they are injured. Another danger is if an animal is near power lines, if this is the case don’t touch them and call Ergon Energy.
check for babies
Often travellers will find a dead animal such as kangaroo or wallaby on the side of the road. It is fairly easy to tell if the animal is male or female, and if female, check the pouch for babies as joeys can survive for up to 10 days in the pouch even after the mother has died.
If you come across an unusual animal like a cassowary, Queensland Parks and Wildlife like to be informed as they keep statistics on these animals and a call to their office is always appreciated.
- To find out more about FNQ Wildlife Rescue visit www.fnqwildliferescue.org.au or call the 24 hotline (07) 4053-4467
- To contact Queensland Parks and Wildlife call 13 74 68 or visit http://nprsr.qld.gov.au/contactus
- To contact Ergon Energy call 13 10 46 for general enquiries Monday to Friday or 13 16 70 for life threatening emergencies (24 hour hotline 7 days a week).