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How to Help Injured Wildlife: A Guide for Compassionate Rescuers

Our world is home to an incredible array of wildlife, from birds to mammals, reptiles to insects, each playing a unique role in our ecosystem. Unfortunately, encounters with injured or distressed wildlife are not uncommon. While it can be heartbreaking to see an animal in distress, there are steps you can take to make a real difference and help these creatures get back on their feet. In this blog post, we’ll guide you on how to assist injured wildlife you may come across.

1. Prioritise Safety for All

Your safety and the animal’s safety should be your top priority. Approach the situation cautiously and avoid direct contact, especially if the animal is scared or appears aggressive. Remember, even seemingly harmless animals can become defensive when frightened or injured.

2. Assess the Situation

Before taking any action, assess the situation. Determine the animal’s condition and any immediate threats. If you can, observe from a safe distance to understand the animal’s behavior, and look for signs of injury, distress, or potential hazards.

3. Contact a Wildlife Rehabilitator

It’s essential to reach out to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or local animal control authority. They have the expertise and resources to handle injured wildlife properly. They can provide guidance on what to do next, and, if necessary, they will come to rescue the animal.

4. Keep Calm and Quiet

Injured animals are stressed and scared. Minimise noise and sudden movements to reduce stress. Maintain a respectful distance, and if you need to leave the area, do so quietly.

5. Provide Temporary Shelter

If it’s safe to do so and you can approach the animal without causing further harm, consider creating a makeshift shelter using a cardboard box or a container with air holes. Place a soft, clean cloth or towel inside for the animal to rest on.

6. Do Not Feed or Water the Animal

Resist the urge to offer food or water to the injured animal. Providing the wrong type of food or liquid can harm them. It’s best to let the professionals handle their nutrition and hydration needs.

7. Handle with Care (If Necessary)

If you must handle the animal, use gloves or a cloth to avoid direct skin contact. In the case of birds, use a soft towel to gently wrap them, covering their eyes to reduce stress. For larger animals, it’s safest to wait for professional assistance.

By following these guidelines and acting responsibly, you can make a meaningful impact on the well-being of injured wildlife. Remember, every little bit of help counts towards ensuring these creatures can thrive in their natural habitats.