Emergency Advice & Rescue


To report an injured, sick or orphaned native animal phone:


0418 628 483 



Hunter Wildlife Rescue operates a 24 hour, 24/7 Call Centre staffed by home-based volunteers trained to assist in all aspects of animal rescues.

Before calling us please check this information:

CLICK HERE for information on Birds

CLICK HERE for more information on:

–    Where echidnas are found

–    Most common reasons for rescue –

–     Important points to remember when rescuing

–    Natural food

–     Mating trains in breeding season

CLICK HERE for more information on:

 –    Brushtail possums

–     Ringtail possums

–     Information for rescuers

–     Possums in roof cavity

–     Possum in a chimney

–     Most common reason for rescues

–     What do they eat?

–     Threats from entanglement in netting – You Can Help!

–     How to make a possum box

CLICK HERE for more information on:

–    What do they look like?

–     Information for rescuers

–     Most common reasons for rescue

–     What do they eat?

–     Disease – Who is at risk?

–    Threats from entanglement in wire – You Can Help!

CLICK HERE for more information on:

–    What is a wombat

–     Information for rescuers

–     Joey wombats

–     Most common reason for rescue

–     Threats to wombats

–     Natural food

 –     Wombats are NOT pets!

CLICK HERE for more information on:

–     What can you do to stop cats killing our wildlife?

–     Wildlife most at risk from cats



CLICK HERE for information on finding a snake in your house.

CLICK HERE to read the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment Code of Practice for injured and sick sea turtles and sea snakes:

What you can do if you find wildlife that is orphaned or sick:

* place it in a secured box, clothes basket or pillowcase* place in a quiet, warm location

* do not feed

* contact the Hunter Wildlife Rescue (NATF) on the 24hr Emergency Hotline: 0418 628 483

  • For specific emergency advice and information on our wildlife

See more detailed advice for rescuers below.

For Marine Rescue such as dolphins, whales or seals phone the 24 hour ORRCA rescue hotline 02 9415 333

Always be careful when approaching a native animal, particularly when injured.

  • DO NOT approach snakes, goannas, bats (flying foxes or microbes), large kangaroos or raptors (eagles, falcons or hawks).  These animals require specialist handling and MUST be rescued by trained wildlife rescuers.
  • If you are unsure of the species please check the information & images in our website
  • Keep well away from any animal that may be venomous or dangerous, especially snakes, goannas, flying foxes or other kinds of bats.
    • If possible watch the snake from a safe distance. Once a snake has disappeared, it can be very difficult to find.
    • If bitten by a snake, please refer to the article on  What to do if you find a snake in your house..  
    • If bitten or scratched by a bat or flying fox, wash the wound with soap and water for five minutes and seek medical advice immediately.
  • All wildlife that is sick or injured needs to be assessed by a vet before coming into care. You can assist by taking any injured animal to your local vet who will contact us to rehabilitate the animal.
  • It is critical to get sick and injured wildlife vet treatment as quickly as possible. Most vets will take wildlife free of charge.
  • Ensure the safety of the animal so that it will not sustain (further) injury.
    • Depending on circumstances, this may involve
      • removing cats and dogs from the area
      • removing an animal from a road
      • putting it in a box or placing a clothes wash basket turned upside down over it.
  • Do not feed food or water, particularly if injured, except when following advice by an experienced person. In extreme heat conditions you may give an injured animal water.
  • Wrap it in a towel or blanket and place it in an escape-proof container with air holes; place the container in a quiet, dark place.
  • In cool weather, warmth can be provided by putting warm water (NOT hot) in a plastic bottle and wrapping it in a tea towel.
  • When reporting a rescue to Hunter Wildlife  please confirm the EXACT location where the animal was found.
  • Many young animals can possibly be reunited with their parents, if we know the exact location the animal was found. Many native animals are VERY TERRITORIAL and it is critical that we release them where they were found, when they are ready to release, to ensure their best chance of survival.
  • Ensure that the vet records the exact location where the animal was found.

• Never forcefully remove a joey from its teat. Wrap the mother and joey in a blanket to keep warm until help arrives.
• If it is not possible to wait until a rescuer arrives, mark the spot with coloured tape or a plastic shopping bag tied to a tree or post and inform the Hunter Wildlife Rescue phone operator. Alternately, text the GPS coordinates to the operator.

Stress caused by contact with humans or pets
  • (especially when combined with shock resulting from injury) can easily result in the death of an  animal. Contact with humans and pets must be minimised.
A young bird found on the ground may not be an orphan
  • If an otherwise healthy young bird is found on the ground, do not conclude it needs rescuing. Its parents are likely to be still be looking after it. It is probably a fledgling and needs to be moved into some bushes, or moved out of danger, if it is on the road, and left alone.
 A dead flying-fox, hanging on power lines
  • may have a baby hidden in the folds of its mother’s wings; the baby may survive for days before eventually dying of starvation.


  • may have a baby hidden in the folds of its mother’s wings; it may survive for days before eventually dying of starvation.

Holding a sugar glider

Adult flying fox tangled in power lines may have a baby that is alive