Australia is renowned for its wide variety of native birds and wildlife. While a lot of these special creatures live outside the city, many also make homes in our backyards and surrounding areas.

Like all creatures, native animals sometimes need veterinary help. So, what do you do if you find injured or possibly injured animals? One of the most important things to remember is that you should never place yourself at risk. Possums, in particular, and some birds have the potential to cause harm if you do not handle them correctly, especially if they are in pain. The second point to remember is to get the animals to the vet as soon as possible so that they can have immediate attention.

The best way to handle wildlife is to use gardening gloves or a towel. It is a good idea to keep an old towel in the back of the car for the unexpected encounter with our native friends! Birds and wildlife are not used to humans and handling, so it is best to minimise contact with them. Keep them in a dark place- a cardboard box is also useful.

If it is not possible to take the animal straight to the vet, you should offer it some water. Birds are very fragile and different species have different diets, so it is best to take birds straight to the vet. Possums eat fruit of many kinds and you may offer this to them. The most important thing of all to remember is that they are wildlife and they should not be kept as pets. If you happen to come across an injured bat, we advise that you do not try and pick it up at all, as they can carry a disease that is transmissible to humans. Call your local vet if you find a bat. At GVH we are committed to treating wildlife and returning it to the wild whenever possible. We have a close relationship with many carers from WIRES and Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Service who frequently care for wildlife once they are well enough to leave hospital, and would like to acknowledge their continued dedication to caring for wildlife.