Bridgetown Wildlife Rescue Inc

Animal First Aid


If you encounter a kangaroo that is injured and alive it is important that everyone is kept away both for their own safety and to minimise stress to the animal.

Contact Bridgetown Wildlife Rescue (“BWR”) on 0427 078 047 or 08-9774 0442 night or day immediately.

If the kangaroo is dead you MUST check the pouch for a surviving young roo.  See here how to do this and here for a short video.

Non-furred young require warmth to survive – an easy way to do this is for someone to put the baby inside their sweater and use body warmth until either a WARM hot water bottle or wheat pack is available. Non-furred pouch young require experienced help urgently.  You will receive advice on this when calling the BWR phone line.

Furred pouch young will need to be contained in a makeshift pouch: a jacket with the sleeves tied together, a pillowcase and so on. Keep the young animal warm and quiet until it can be passed on to an experienced carer.

Do not overheat the animal as this can be fatal.

Bandicoots & Possums

If alive, a bandicoot or possum should be covered with a thick towel or similar and both hands used to gently pick it up with a very firm grip. Be wary of teeth and claws. Possums, in particular, will react to the stress of being handled by trying to bite and scratch their rescuer. Bandicoots and possums can be contained in a secure box or a makeshift pouch.  Gloves may be of assistance to you.

If dead, the pouch MUST be checked for young as with kangaroos, above.

Trapped Possums

People may trap a possum because it is running about their ceiling and they are unsure what to do next.

If the noise in the ceiling is happening during the night the creature running about IN the ceiling may not be a possum. Possums tend to leave their homes around dusk and return around dawn rather than run about inside throughout the evening. If the noise continues throughout the night it could be a rat in the ceiling. (Be aware that many rat baits are toxic to our native wildlife).

You should not relocate a possum to another area – they are territorial and will simply return to their own territory or will be killed. The possum must be released on the property where it was trapped.

You should prevent the possum from gaining entry back into the ceiling Possum boxes can be erected within their territory to provide an alternative living space.

Contact BWR to find out how to acquire such a box.

Baby Birds & Fledglings

While BWR is primarily concerned with marsupials, it does have expertise with birds.  Where an uninjured baby bird is encountered, it should be placed back in its nest or in an artificial nest such as a hanging basket, ice-cream container with drainage holes in the base etc placed as high up in the tree as possible.

Even tiny, unfeathered young birds may be found fluttering between trees and moving around its environment.

Fledglings are usually on the ground learning to fly and are often in danger of harm from traffic, cats, dogs or are being attacked by other birds. In this case the bird should be picked up gently (you can use a towel) and placed somewhere high and safe – a Y shaped tree branch, on the fence or shed, on the wheelie bin (shaded from hot sun).

The baby bird or fledgling should then be observed, from a distance, to ensure that the adult birds are attending to it.

Only obviously injured or abandoned young should be removed from their environment. If a young bird requires care, it should be placed in a box and there should be a towel on the bottom of the box. This will prevent the bird from further injuring itself by flapping around the box. While a wildlife rehabilitator or vet is being arranged keep the box and bird in a warm, quiet place.

Adult Birds

If you are able to approach an adult bird that is on the ground the chances are it will be injured in some way and in need of help.

The bird should be gently but firmly picked up (using a towel), placed in a box lined with a towel and kept in a warm, quiet place until it can be passed on to a wildlife rehabilitator or vet. Birds may react to the stress of being captured by trying to peck, bite and scratch the rescuer.

Please keep in mind that an injured bird may still be able to fly.

Occasionally, particularly if the bird has flown into a window, it may be stunned and recover enough to be released within a few hours.

Be aware that there are night birds and day birds and that they attack each other!

An owl found out in the morning must be kept until dark for release and a magpie found at dusk must be kept until morning for release.