Injured & orphaned wildlife on our roads

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Tasmania is home to a variety of beautiful native wildlife. Sadly, many animals are killed on our roads.

At Tasmanian Animal Hospitals we will triage and treat all wildlife at no charge. We work with wildlife carers and Bonorong to ensure we can return native animals to the wild whenever possible.

Here are a few basic tips on what you can do to help injured wildlife.

Always have a thick towel and gloves in the back of your car in case of emergencies.

A cat carrier or cardboard box is also very useful.

What should I do if I see an animal hit by a car?

  • Your safety is a priority. Don’t stop or get out of the car unless it is safe to do so.
  • Approach the animal quietly and calmly. If it does not run away, it is probably seriously injured or in shock.
  • Pick it up using thick gardening gloves, welding gloves or a thick towel or jumper. Be cautious as scared animals can bite.
  • Place the animal in a box and secure the lid.
  • Take the animal straight to the nearest vet clinic. If we are closed, try AHVEC or Bonorong.

Native animals can die from stress alone, so keep handling to a minimum. Keep the box in a dark, warm, quiet place until it can see a vet.

Do NOT try to feed the animal, handle it or take photos.

What should I do if the animal has died?

  • If the animal is a marsupial, it may have a baby in the pouch. You can open the pouch to check the teats for young.
  • If young are present (or you don’t feel comfortable to look inside), please bring the mother in to the clinic for our vets to check.
  • Do NOT try to remove a baby from the teat as this can cause jaw damage.
  • If no babies are present, please remove the body to the side of the road. If left on the road it could attract Tassie Devils, who may then also be hit and killed.tassie devil

How can we prevent the injury or death of wildlife on the road?

  • Avoid driving at dusk, night or dawn, as this is when native animals are most active.
  • Slow down in bush areas or at night. Keep under 80km/hr.

What else can I do to help?

If you are passionate about helping wildlife, why not become a wildlife rescue carer? Carers are involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of injured wildlife. Some will also bottle-raise orphaned wildlife. Training courses are available through Bonorong.

Remember, native animals should never be kept as pets. It is illegal to keep native wildlife without a license.

For more info, check out our local experts in wildlife – Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.


Dr Grace Woodward