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Helping Heat Stressed Wildlife

If you find an animal (not a flying-fox, a bat, a macropod, wombat or reptile) that is showing signs of heat stress but is conscious and appears otherwise uninjured please read the advice below as you may be able to help the animal.

  • Provide shallow containers of water around your yard, ideally in the shade, through days with extreme temperatures can really help. Remember to keep the containers clean, refresh frequently and be sure to change the water daily to deter mosquitos from breeding.

  • Place sticks or a stone in the containers to allow smaller animals that fall in, a way out.

  • It is important to NEVER APPROACH a macropod that is lying down. They are likely to jump up, which will exhaust them even more if they are heat-stressed.

  • You can also place some containers around the perimeter of your property on the fence line to provide water for reptiles. This has the added advantage of deterring reptiles from approaching houses to access water from taps and other sources closer to your house.

  • Keep your cats and dogs indoors as wildlife may be extra vulnerable to predators while in a weakened state

  • Provide shade with a garden umbrella or other cover over distressed animals

  • Gently mist distressed animals with a very light spray of water or place a sprinkler nearby

  • If you have found an animal in distress you can offer it a shallow dish of water to drink from. If it is too weak you can use an eyedropper to gently put a few drops on its lips or beak. Squirting water can choke animals.

Ref: Helping Heat Stressed Wildlife, WIRES, 2020.

WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation

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