Who can help with a sick or injured animal?

Veterinarians, zoos and wildlife rescue organisations found throughout NSW can assist you.

Caution: Never handle snakes, bats or flying foxes - call a wildlife organisation immediately.

Native species

Take to a vet

If you find a sick or injured native animal contact your nearest vet as soon as possible so the animal receives appropriate treatment.

Many zoos also accept sick or injured native wildlife.

Contact a wildlife carer organisation

Wildlife carer organisations can provide advice on what to do. 

Make sure to give the operator as much information as possible about the animal’s location and condition.

If you have arranged for a wildlife carer organisation to rescue the animal, you should stay if possible and observe the animal until the rescuers arrive.

Sydney Wildlife 02 9413 4300 (Sydney metropolitan area)

WIRES (Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service) 1300 094 737 (Statewide).

View the full list of licenced NSW wildlife rehabilitation organisations.

Non-native species

For a non-native species, contact the RSPCA or take it to a vet.

While waiting for a rescuer

  • Covering the animal with a towel or blanket makes it easier to capture.
  • Try to keep the animal calm and safe by placing it in a cardboard box or covered cage if you are able. Ensure the box or cage is secure so the animal can’t escape.
  • Put the box in a quiet undisturbed dark place and do not offer any food or water unless advised by a veterinarian or the wildlife rescuer.
  • If it is an orphaned young animal or a bird, it will need to be kept warm. 
  • Keep any pets and people well away from the area as stress from sight, noise or handling can kill it.

Only people authorised under an OEH wildlife licence may take a native animal into care.

Rehabilitating a native animal without an authority is illegal and can lead to prosecution.

You are not allowed to keep rescued native animals as pets.

Don't ignore dead mammals

A dead marsupial may have live young in its pouch, so check females for joeys. Wildlife rescuers often mark dead animals they have already checked with paint.

If possible, move dead animals away from roads as their predators could be in danger of becoming roadkill.

If you find dead animals in a NSW national park or reserve, call the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) on 1300 072 757.