Ask a Park Ranger – what do I do if I see injured wildlife?

We are always appreciative of the concern and care people have for our local wildlife and at this time of year reports to Sydney Olympic Park Authority increase for various reasons.

Here is some info to give you some more insight into our local wildlife and what to do if you see sick or injured wildlife and want to help.

Blue tongue lizard

Look at me, I’m injured…NOT!
Many animals have their young in Spring, this leads to many behaviours to protect young, and can you believe faking to be sick or injured to lead you away from their nest is a common behaviour!

These displays can be very convincing. The best way to observe this behaviour is to move back from the bird’s territory and then watch what happens. As soon as another animal moves into the territory a healthy bird may suddenly appear to have a “broken” wing or limp.

I am just sun-baking
Birds particularly like to lay flat on the ground in the sun. It encourages lice to leave the bird and we suspect that birds enjoy baking as much as humans do.

If you see a bird laying on the ground sunning itself, it is a normal part of their behaviour. Just stay clear and let the bird make the most of the sun.

Person places bird on branchYoung bird on the ground
Sometimes young birds fall out of the nest or leave early and it may be tempting to take them into care. However, this is normal behaviour and the parents are usually nearby and will continue to look after their offspring. You can assist by popping the young bird up on a branch so that it is out of harm’s way.

It is unusual to encounter a bat in daytime as they hunt during the night and rest during the day. Please do not attempt to handle bats. Rescues should be carried out by appropriately trained and vaccinated persons.

What to do if you find a genuinely injured animal

  • Call us – our Parklands Rangers are always happy to look at wildlife you think may need assistance, although we may not have staff available all the time. Injured wildlife can be reported to us on 0408 864 798
  • Call WIRES or Sydney Wildlife – typically these organisations will collect an animal if they can be shown where the animal is. WIRES and Sydney Wildlife is comprised of volunteers, so there is likely to be a wait before an animal can be collected. The RSPCA ambulances cover all of Sydney, so likewise there is likely to be a wait involved.
    • WIRES: 1300 094 737
    • Sydney Wildlife: 9413 4300

Injured bird being heldIf you are trying to help, consider your safety first!
Sometimes you will find a genuinely injured animal on a roadway or in a pond.

Collecting injured animals from roads and ponds is dangerous work please leave that to our staff. Entering waterways and waterbodies is prohibited at the Park due to risks of transporting pest fish and aquatic weeds to other areas.


Manager Green Ranger Team, Sydney Olympic Park Authority

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Posted in Places & green spaces

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