Helping animals one at a time

CARERS: Cooper Street Veterinary Hospital's Karlie Johnston and Wildcare volunteer Sandra Latham encourage people to take action if they see a hurt animal. Picture: J Lees

CARERS: Cooper Street Veterinary Hospital's Karlie Johnston and Wildcare volunteer Sandra Latham encourage people to take action if they see a hurt animal. Picture: J Lees

A fortnight ago an echidna was hit by a car resulting in serious damage to its beak (mouth area).

Scar tissue was forming and it could not eat.

The echidna was slowly starving. That is until it made its way onto someone’s verandah. That person contacted Cooper Street Veterinary Hospital.

Veterinary nurse and Wildcare volunteer Karlie Johnston said injured wildlife being left to slowly suffer is an all too common story after motor vehicle accidents. 

She encouraged people to take action if they see an injured echidna, kangaroo, bird or possum.

The first port of call should be to see if the animal is alive. 

If it is deceased, people should remove it from the roadway.

If a mother kangaroo is deceased, Karlie encouraged people to check the pouch. 

If a joey exists, she said people should use a towel to wrap the animal and immediately take it to a vet. 

If a joey is not rescued and the mother has died, therefore stopped producing milk, the joey will die a slow death. 

The same advice goes for possums and the less common wombats which also have pouches. 

Karlie recommended that if someone finds an injured echidna, they would be better to guide the animal into a box or plastic tub rather than try to pick it up due to their spikes. 

People should remember where they found the echidna. If it is a female it will need to be released ASAP in the same place as they may have babies in a burrows.

An injured bird should be covered in a towel to be picked up and kept in a dark, quiet place.

If people do not want to touch an injured animal or transport it, they are still encouraged to contact someone to let them know the whereabouts of the animal and possibly save it from a slow, painful death. 

Karlie estimates she sees at least one injured bird in the clinic each week during summer and joeys are the next most regular animal brought in.

Locally, people can contact Wildcare on 6299 1966, Wires on 1300 094 737 or Cooper Street Veterinary Hospital on 6942 4100.

There is no charge to the person who takes the injured animal to the vet.  

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