What to do if you find a baby animal

Animals Rescue Wildlife Posted Jul 21, 2021
When you find an abandoned baby animal, it is hard to know what to do next. So here are some of our helpful tips.

Baby animals such as possum and kangaroo joeys need their mother to survive. Most of the time possum joeys have lost grip on their mother, or the mother of a possum or kangaroo joey has been tragically killed in an accident such as being hit by a car. This leads to the baby being displaced and alone.

Recently a baby ringtail possum with no parents was spotted by a jogger. They wrapped it up in a jumper and put it under the shelter of a tree and called 1300 ANIMAL for help.

possum joey on ground

What do I do if I find a baby animal alone without its parents?

Step 1

Look around for its parents nearby, they may not be abandoned.

Firstly, monitor the area for a short time to see if the parents are going to return to their joey. If it’s a possum joey and the parents are there but don’t return to their young, you could pick up the joey and move it closer to the parent to try to reunite them. If this doesn’t work, you can then move to step two and take the baby to a local vet.

If it’s a kangaroo or wallaby joey however, unless they are injured they can be tricky to move, so it’s best in these situations to return in an hour to see if the parents have returned to their joey. If you aren’t able to wait around or revisit the area, please call 1300 ANIMAL for assistance.

Step 2

If you can’t spot the parents, the next step would be to wrap the joey up in a towel, sheet or similar. You can gently cover their face, as they stress less when in a dark, cosy environment.

kangaroo joey in knitted pouch

Step 3

If you’re able to do so, you can then take the orphan to your nearest vet. If you can’t take them to a vet call 1300 ANIMAL so our Animal Rescue Team can assist.

If you ever see a baby animal abandoned and are unsure what to do, contact 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

Read more about what to do if you spot a baby bird here.

Sophie Oxford
Share this article
Find the perfect pet