Critical things to avoid when assisting animals in distress
- Do not add electrolytes, “rehydration solutions” or sugar to water sources as they can be harmful to wildlife.
- Don’t feed wildlife mixtures of peanut butter, honey and rolled oats (known as bait or wildlife balls typically used to attract animals) as they are harmful to some animals.
- Never feed raw meat, cooked bones, bread, baked goods, rice, onion/garlic, banana, honey, molasses, sugar, avocado, chocolate, dairy products, or processed foods with artificial sweeteners as they can be harmful or even toxic in some species.
- Don’t offer unsterilized hays or seeded grasses, fruits or vegetables in bushland areas. Non-native species (some common in hays and poor quality bird seed mixes), can outcompete native plants and destroy bushland.
- Don’t scatter feed (ie. bird seeds, pellets etc) directly on the ground as this increases risk of disease and attracts unwanted pests.
- Avoid providing food where and how feral animal populations may benefit, particularly pigs, goats and deer. These species can aggressively dominate food stations and threaten the recovery of native species. Feral scan (www.feralscan.org.au) provides information on regional distribution of these species.
- Most wildlife is not accustomed to being handled and can become very stressed. Don’t feed rescued injured or sick animals or attempt to handle them yourself. They should be transported to a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible. If you find an injured animal, and it is safe to do so, contain it in a covered box in a dark, quiet place while waiting for a rescuer or until transporting the animal to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian.
- Firegrounds are extremely dangerous. Public is urged not to enter firegrounds to look for injured wildlife.