A Chance For Survival
Native Wildlife Rescue operates as a non-profit organisation in the Southern Highlands and is a regional member of Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc (WRSC). The organisation is licensed by the Office of Environment and Heritage to rescue and rehabilitate injured, sick and orphaned wildlife.
Most of the 1500 calls we receive annually is often to assist injured wildlife involved in vehicle collisions throughout the Southern Highlands. We also attend and coordinate emergency rescues of wildlife in the bush and on private property — mammals, reptiles and birds with life-threatening injuries caused by discarded wiring, plastic and other toxic rubbish.
Though most of the accidents are unpreventable, we urge the Southern Highlands’ community and visiting members of the public to take extra care on freeways, backroads and along bush trails, and in the gardens and groundcovers where wildlife habitats co-exist. If you see anyone littering or dumping rubbish, please report the offenders [including the make of their vehicle, car registration and location] to the Police on 02 48697899.
Here are some of the most important tips to remember to make your journey and wildlife safer.
|1| If you’re driving at night, reduce your speed by 10-20 percent on roads known for wildlife incursions including Old South Road, Illawarra Highway, Medway to Berrima and the stretch of road from Sutton Forest to Bundanoon. |2| If you do encounter any wildlife [or domestic animal] on the road, do not swerve violently to avoid hitting it as you could lose control of your vehicle and cause injury to yourself, your passengers and any other oncoming or trailing vehicle. |3| If the animal you have hit is dangerously positioned and could impact oncoming traffic, please do not attempt to drag the animal from the middle or side of the road if this places your life or another driver at risk. Contact our 24/7 hotline or the police. |4| If possible, tie a Coles or Woolworths’ shopping bag to the nearest mile marker or an obvious landmark. This will allow a wildlife rescuer to locate the injured or sick wildlife. |5| If you’re able, check to see if the deceased wildlife is a male or female. Often a young or newborn joey will be found in the pouch.
Checking for Injuries & Joeys
If you collide with any marsupials [eg: wombat, koala, kangaroo or wallaby], it’s important to remember to take precautions before approaching the animal. |1| Never become complacent if you assume that the animal is dead. Distressed macropods [roos and wallabies] can cause great harm even if they’re injured or in shock. Of the greatest risk is receiving a severe kick to the face or chest. |2| Take note if the injured wildlife appears to be agitated by your presence. If you have a towel, place it over the head of the animal or bird as this will calm it down. |3| When checking the pouch of a dead marsupial, examine the entire area including its nipples [remember that wombats and koalas have pouches that open backwards]. |4| If you discover a joey, please be careful not to get its head or tail caught when removing it from the pouch. Also, never apply any force to manoeuvre a limb that’s caught especially with tiny macropod joeys as they will have their mouths fused to its mother’s teat. |5| Contact us or if possible, transport the deceased mother and joey to the nearest vet or to one of our carers. Our 24/7 will assist you with the required steps to take [see below].
What To Do In An Emergency
|1| If you have hit an animal, try to pull over to see if its injuries are fatal but only if you have not placed yourself, your passengers or other oncoming drivers at risk. Be sure to turn on your hazard lights and check your mirrors to ensure that it’s safe to step out.
|2| Make sure that you haven’t stopped on a blind spot so that you don’t become a hazard to other drivers including trucks and other large vehicles.
|3| Make sure that your passengers remain safe and especially for all children to stay in the car.
|4| Before you search any pouches for joeys, it is vital that you first ascertain any potential risks. Always any kangaroo or wallaby from a safe distance to ascertain all certainly that the animal is deceased. Also approach with due caution incase the animal is unconscious.
 If the animal appears to have recovered, take note of your distance and its mannerisms. This may include the shaking of its head or twitching of its ears. If this happens, it’s important that you slowly retreat to the safety of your vehicle and contact us.
 If the injured wildife cannot get up, its injuries are likely to be serious and is beyond treatment. Therefore, it’s important that you report any injured wildlife without delay.
 Do not attempt to euthanise the injured animal. Wildlife rescue officers and the police are trained to humanely euthanised any sick or injured wildlife.
 If you are unable to remain at the collision site, please leave a distinct marker tied to a tree, fence or post and report the incident from the nearest mile marker or sign post.
 If you travel frequently along country roads, it’s always a good idea to travel with a GREEN Woolworths or Coles bag [to use as a marker on a tree or fence post]; two pairs of latex gloves [for you and for another person to assist where possible], a recycled bag for any rubbish, a bottle of water and soap [to scrub your hands after handling the animal] and an old blanket. If you also have a old cardboard box, this will make an excellent plank in your vehicle.
 If you live near one of the nature reserves in any of the Southern Highlands’ towns or villages and have see a deceased duck [especially with a deceased duckling], it’s likely that others will be hiding close by. Please search for them in the tall grass or nearby reeds.
 Never pick up injured snakes and flying foxes. Contact us and we will have a trained snake handler or wildlife rescuer assist you. See our page on venomous snakes.
Thank you for your support.