Emergency care and first aid advice for wildlife casualties

From 8am to 8pm 365 days a year we are here to offer help and advice on all types of wildlife casualties.

If we are not immediately available and you have a wild animal that is obviously sick or injured, then your first point of contact is your nearest veterinary surgery.

All veterinary surgeons are obliged by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to provide 24-hour emergency cover, including the provision of emergency first aid and pain relief, to all animals regardless of species.  A veterinary surgeon will be able to provide advice and emergency care, including where necessary euthanasia. Ideally phone the veterinary surgery first, rather than just turning up, so they can give appropriate advice and/or be prepared for your arrival.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue works closely with veterinary surgeons in the south west, and across the country, providing training and advice.  We also provide a full service for the ongoing treatment, rehabilitation and release of wildlife casualties and orphan animals after initial veterinary care.  Veterinary practices can contact us directly in order to transfer animals into our care once they have received emergency treatment.

Additional advice for dealing with specific casualty animals

Birds

During the day (8am to 8pm 365 days a year) please phone us directly regarding any sick or injured birds. Outside of these hours please phone a local veterinary surgeon for advice.

When handling birds avoid any direct handling, use a towel wrapped around the wings to pick up the bird and place it into an appropriate container. With seabirds, swans and birds of prey, ask for professional advice first.

Further advice on dealing with injured birds and providing supportive care, before the bird goes to a veterinary surgery or comes to Secret World, are given in the links below.

I’ve found an injured bird – what do I do?

Small mammals

During the day (8am to 8pm 365 days a year) please phone us directly regarding any sick or injured small mammals (hedgehogs, squirrels, rodents, insectivores etc.). Outside of these hours please phone a local veterinary surgeon for help and advice.

Please avoid directly handling small mammals as they might bite and can potentially carry infectious diseases. Instead ‘scoop’ the animal up in a container or use a thick towel to pick it up. Bats carry a very low, but real, risk of rabies infection and should NOT be handled at all without professional advice.

Some basic information on providing supportive care for these animals is given in the link below.

I’m waiting for help to arrive

Fox

During the day (8am to 8pm 365 days a year) please phone us directly regarding any sick, injured or orphaned foxes. Outside of these hours please phone a local veterinary surgeon for advice.

Foxes are not uncommonly victims of road traffic accidents. If you are involved with a road accident fox then please phone Secret World (8am to 8pm 365 days a year) or the nearest veterinary surgery.

Badger

During the day (8am to 8pm 365 days a year) please phone us directly regarding any sick, injured or orphaned badgers. Outside of these hours if you are faced with an injured badger please phone a local veterinary surgeon for advice. In addition, many of the local Badger Trust groups are able to offer additional support, please search on Google for your nearest Badger Group contact number.  Badger Groups can then liaise with Secret World who will take on the ongoing care of the animal as appropriate.

Badgers are sadly frequent the victims of road traffic accidents. If you hit, or come across, a road traffic accident badger please phone Secret World (8am to 8pm 365 days a year), or the nearest veterinary surgery, or a Badger Group.

Deer

Report injured deer to the police if causing any sort of obstruction at all to the road. The police will then be able to contact the appropriate people to help the deer. If the deer is injured but not obstructing the road contact Secret World (8am to 8pm 365 days a year) or the nearest veterinary surgery.

More advice on dealing with animals injured on the road is given in the link below.

An animal’s been injured on the road

General advice on caring for wildlife

Caring for wildlife obviously doesn’t just involve dealing with sick, injured or abandoned animals. There are lots of other things you can do to help wild animals in your local area and be a Wildlife Saver.

How can I help the birds where I live?

Top tips for Wildlife-Savers

If you ever need further advice on what to do with a wild animal, give us a call. We have a great deal of experience in rescuing and caring for wildlife.

We offer a wildlife rescue service across the South West. You can speak to one of our response team on 01278 783 250 from 8am to 8pm 365 days a year.