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Wildlife Rescue with Winton Wetlands

Media Release | 15 April 2019

The Friends of Winton Wetlands recently organised a ‘Wildlife Rescue info with Clean Up Day’ event which delivered information and knowledge on how to help injured wildlife, presented by Shirley Steegstra from Benalla Wildlife Rescue. An active effort to clean up the Winton Wetlands site was also a part of the day.

Winton Wetlands and the Friends would like to thank all those who attended the event and Shirley for her time and the wonderful work she does. Shirley has provided some basic information about what to do if you come across injured wildlife.

What to do if you find injured wildlife

If you find an injured native animal or bird, pick the animal up using a towel or blanket and place it in a cardboard box that is also line with a towel. Ensure you have put some ventilation holes in the box first. Place the box securely in your car, not in the boot as exhaust fumes can kill the animal. If you do not have access to immediate assistance, keep the animal in a warm, dark place and keep noise to a minimum to avoid stressing the animal. Please do not offer the animal any food and water as native animals have very specialised diets and feeding an animal that is in shock can be fatal. Take the animal to your nearest vet or contact your local wildlife rescue organisation. Vet clinics and rescue organisations do not charge to accept wildlife.

Please remember that some animals do not require rescuing. For example, some baby birds are left for a short time while the parents forage for food.

If you find a kangaroo, wallaby, possum or koala that has been injured be sure to check the pouch for young. If ever in doubt, ring your local wildlife organisation for assistance.

Becoming a wildlife rescuer

Wildlife Shelter Operator Authorisations are for experienced wildlife carers who have the expertise and facilities to house a range of wildlife in need of care, including those with complex requirements.

Foster Carer Authorisations are for those who wish to learn wildlife rehabilitation. Foster Carers are authorised under the Wildlife Shelter Operators so that people new to wildlife rehabilitation can gain experience and guidance in the care and treatments of native wildlife.

Wildlife rehabilitation is rewarding but is time demanding and can be physically and emotionally demanding. It requires a range of skills such as safely capturing and handling distressed wildlife, administering first-aid (sometimes performing euthanasia) and providing appropriate food and enclosures.  All this must be done in a way that doesn’t stress the animals and maintains their natural behaviours to allow a successful life in the wild after release.

If you are interested, DEWLP recommends that you volunteer with an experienced authorised shelter prior to applying for a Foster Carer Authorisation.

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