Injured and Orphaned Wildlife

​What to do if you find a sick, injured or orphaned animal

Contact the Injured and Orphaned Wildlife Program on 6165 4305 (business hours) or Bonorong Wildlife Rescue 0447 264 625 (all hours).

Please note: Bonorong Wildlife Rescue is a privately run, volunteer-based rescue service operating Tasmania-wide.

These four steps will increase the chances of successful release back into the wild:

  1. Keep the animal warm, dark and quiet;
  2. Do not feed it anything, as often this can do more harm than good;
  3. Keep handling to a minimum; and
  4. Keep away from people and domestic animals.

It is in the best interests of the animal for it to be looked after by an experienced wildlife rehabilitator with experience, skills, capacity and appropriate facilities to rehabilitate it for release back into the wild. If you would like to become a wildlife rehabilitator, please contact the Wildlife Management Branch.


Injured and Orphaned Wildlife Program

The Department works in conjunction with rescue groups, wildlife parks and zoos, veterinarians and members of the community who assist in the rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife through the Injured and Orphaned Wildlife Program.

The Program provides advice and support to the network of registered wildlife rehabilitators across the state. The Program encompasses many voluntary roles, including full-time rehabilitation, emergency care, provision of release sites, transport of wildlife and pouch making.

The Department supports public involvement in the conservation and management of Tasmania's wildlife, and recognises the important role the community plays in wildlife rehabilitation.

The Aim of Wildlife Rehabilitation

The aim of wildlife rehabilitation is to provide temporary care to enable wildlife to be released back into the wild. Wildlife undergoing rehabilitation have specialised needs that are different from domestic pets. Nutrition, housing and husbandry must be appropriate to the species and adequately prepare them for life in the wild.


The Department has responsibility for implementing legislation that relates to wildlife rehabilitation. The following legislation governs the activities of wildlife rehabilitators in Tasmania:

  1. Nature Conservation Act 2002
  2. Wildlife (General) Regulations 2010
  3. Wildlife (Exhibited Animals) Regulations 2010
  4. Threatened Species Protection Act 1995
  5. Animal Welfare Act 1995

Permits are required to possess most wildlife for the purposes of rehabilitation.

  Permit for Rehabilitation of Wildlife   (290Kb)

  Wildlife Carer Registration Form​ (209Kb)

  Carers General Requirements   (285Kb)

A permit is required to display injured and orphaned wildlife to the public.

  Permit Application for the Display of Injured and Orphaned Wildlife   (219Kb)​


Review of the Injured and Orphaned Wildlife Program

A review of the Department's Injured and Orphaned Wildlife Program is currently underway, and the Department is working with stakeholders to review the Program and identify opportunities to improve the current arrangements. The Department is developing a draft Wildlife Rehabilitation Policy and Best Practice Guidelines for Wildlife Rehabilitation.

For further information contact the Wildlife Management Branch.


Would You Like to Become a Wildlife Rehabilitator? 

Wildlife rehabilitation is a voluntary activity that requires dedication to providing the best outcomes for Tasmania's wildlife.

What are the benefits of being a wildlife rehabilitator?
-       Contributing to the conservation and management of native wildlife
-       Opportunities to learn new skills 
-       Being part of a supportive network of like-minded individuals

-       Rewarding experiences of releasing animals back to the wild

What are the basic tasks?
-       Building and maintaining indoor and outdoor enclosures that mimic the natural              environment
-       Cleaning and sanitising enclosures and equipment
-       Sourcing native food
-       Pouch-making (for marsupials)
-       Bottle feeding and toileting (for marsupials)
-       Arranging and covering the cost of veterinary care as needed
-       Administering veterinary prescribed treatments
-       Record-keeping
-       Community education
-       Keeping knowledge and skills up to date

If you would like to learn more about becoming a wildlife rehabilitator please contact the Wildlife Management Branch.


Wildlife Rehabilitation Training

Courses suitable for beginners are offered from time to time.

Please contact the Wildlife Management Branch or Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for more information. 


How Can I Help?

Donate to the Wildcare Injured and Orphaned Wildlife Gift Fund. Your donations help injured and orphaned wildlife recieve the best care to enable them to be successfully returned to the wild. 

Wildcare Injured and Orphaned Wildlife Gift Fund​

Sew and donate pouches for wildlife rehabilitators to use for marsupials. 

Please contact the Wildlife Management Branch for advice on sewing suitable pouches. 


Useful Information

Wildlife Health Australia

National Wildlife Biosecurity Guidelines

Australian Bat Lyssavirus

Wombaroo Milk Replacers and Food Supplements for Native Animals

Wombat Mange in Tasmania

Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference

Tasmanian Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

Bonorong Wildlife Rescue


Wildlife Management Branch
Level 8, 59 Liverpool St
GPO Box 44
Phone: 03 6165 4305
Fax: 03 6173 0253