What is involved?
Although wildlife rehabilitation can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience, we must remember that the welfare of the animal is of the upmost priority.
The aim of the wildlife rehabilitator should be to rehabilitate the animal or raise it to a state of maturity such that it can be safely and successfully released back into its natural environment.
We must always remember that they are wild animals and need to be treated as such. Although it might be fun for us to have a “pet” wild animal, it is not fair to the WILDlife – we must always remember that they are wild and they must be able to be returned to the wild. It is important to also note that the holding/taking of wild animals without approval is against the law.
To provide for the animal’s physical and psychological needs the rehabilitator must have appropriate training, adequate time, suitable facilities and be prepared to meet all the costs incurred, such as for food, housing and some veterinary expenses.
Download our electronic copy of an Information Booklet which we have put together which provides you with information that will assist you to determine if wildlife rehabilitation is for you.
What type of equipment do I need?
Basic equipment that you will need to get started includes:-
- Gloves (disposable and leather rigger-style gloves)
- Cardboard boxes of various sizes
- Clean towels
- Hot water bottle
- Glucodin powder (you can purchase this from the supermarket or chemist for about $5)
As you become more experienced, you will find that you will add other items to your “rescue kit” including:-
- Pet carrier or cage
- Net for catching birds
- Syringes (for feeding)
- Electronic kitchen scales
- Coloured globes (red or blue) 25 and 40 watts
Once you have worked out which species you wish to care for, you will need to then look at building or acquiring appropriate facilities to house them.
This might include cages, aviaries or yards for the specific type of animal that you are going to care for. Aviaries and large cages should be set up with branches, both fixed and movable, for climbing and should be snake and rat proof.
You will need to obtain daily access to a natural food source such as native trees and shrubs.
I’m ready… what now?
- Either complete the online membership application, or download the Membership Application Form, complete and return it to the Membership Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The Membership Secretary will process your membership and will send out your membership card in the mail. You will receive a confirmation email with links to our Volunteer Manual and other useful resources.
- Read through the Volunteer Manual and then check the Education Calendar for the next Orientation Program and Rescue and First Aid for Wildlife workshops to be held near you.
- Register for these initial training workshops by emailing email@example.com
- Attend the initial training workshops and you are on your way!
You should then give consideration to which species you are able to care for and attend the appropriate training course for that species. Our experienced volunteers can give you some information on helping you decide which species would suit your lifestyle.
Once you have completed initial training, you are given the option of being included on our Rescue List.
What if I’m not ready to be actively involved?
You are still welcome to attend the other training workshops free of charge.
Can I still care for wildlife if I work?
Where do I get more information?
If you have any specific questions regarding becoming a wildlife carer, please feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone one our volunteers on 07 5527 2444.
There are also a large number of excellent books that have been produced that are a great reference source for wildlife rehabilitators. A copy of our Useful Book List is available for you to download in the Carer Resources section.