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Help injured wildlife

If you find an injured or distressed native animal, call your local volunteer wildlife rehabilitation organisation.

Read more about Help injured wildlife

You can help our wildlife in distress 

Drought conditions across NSW and the burning of huge tracts of land in recent fires have left many of our native animals in distress.
Many animals can survive for extended periods with little or no food but can only survive a matter of days without life-saving water. You can help our native wildlife by giving them a safe supply of water in a wildlife friendly container. Never pour water into an animal’s mouth as it may go into its airways. 

Make it safe for wildlife to have a drink

To make a wildlife-friendly watering area, use:

  • Shallow containers with a stable rock or stick in them to give safe access out of the water.
  • Strong, stable containers to avoid them tipping over or collapsing.
  • Firm surfaces to put the containers on, so they don’t tip if a heavy animal tries to use it.
  • Containers at a range of heights from the ground so a range of animals can reach them.
  • A cleared area with shade to allow nervous wildlife to watch out for predators and keep cool.
  • Clean, fresh water. Change it daily to prevent the spread of disease.

Remember to keep:

  • Children, cats and dogs away from your wildlife-friendly watering area.
  • Your pool covered or put in a ramp or floatation device to allow wildlife to escape if they fall in while drinking. Check your pool daily.
  • A photo diary of the visitors to your wildlife-friendly watering area to share on the National Parks and Wildlife Facebook page.

Feeding wildlife during natural disasters

Feeding native wildlife is generally not recommended because they have very special and diverse dietary needs. It's best for the health of wildlife to forage for food and water naturally.

In times of natural disaster when natural food resources are scarce, you may want to help by providing food until nature recovers. However, what can be offered to one animal in small amounts may be harmful to another and could result in debilitating disease or even death. For example:

  • Seed mix intended for seed eating birds is harmful to kangaroos, wallabies and possums.
  • Fruit such as apple, pear and stone fruit intended for flying foxes and brushtail possums is harmful to ringtail possums.  

NEVER feed any wildlife bread, avocado, chocolate, sugar, honey or dairy products.

To prevent the spread of disease and attracting unwanted pests, it's very important to remove uneaten food and clean the food container daily. Never throw bird seed directly onto the ground – put it in an accessible container.

Always seek expert advice from a trained wildlife carer about helping koalas in an emergency

You can help by making your garden a safe haven for wildlife by growing native food plants and creating shelter and habitat by using logs, rocks and nestboxes. Find out more about living with native animals.

If you find injured wildlife

Contact your local wildlife rescue group or vet. You can use the IFAW Wildlife Rescue App to find them. Most wildlife is not used to being handled and can become very stressed. If a trained wildlife rescue volunteer or vet is not immediately available:

  • Remove threats from the animal including small children, cats and dogs.
  • Cover and contain the animal in a box lined with a towel.
  • Don't give food or water unless instructed by a trained wildlife rescue volunteer or a vet.
  • Keep the animal inside in a quiet place, allowing it to rest with no disturbance.

If you find an injured whale, dolphin or seal 

To report a stranded, injured or entangled whale, dolphin, dugong or seal please contact the ORRCA rescue hotline on 02 9415 3333 or the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS). 

Become a wildlife volunteer

If you want to learn more about wildlife rescue or train to become a volunteer, email your local volunteer wildlife rehabilitation organisation. Emailing keeps the phone lines free so rescue calls can be prioritised.

You can also explore our NPWS volunteer activities focused on wildlife. Help to protect habitat, monitor animals or conduct species surveys.


You can make a donation to the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife which will go toward helping volunteer wildlife rehabilitation organisations assist wildlife affected by the fire emergency.