Pets, wildlife and bushfire season

As deadly bushfires rage across the country it’s more important than ever to do our bit to keep pets and wildlife safe.

Here’s what to do if you are forced to evacuate with your pet or come across an injured animal.

How can I keep my pets safe?

Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) is urging pet owners in fire vulnerable areas to include their animals in fire evacuation plans. 

“Bushfires are extremely dangerous and threaten homes and lives of both humans and animals,” AWLQ spokesperson Craig Montgomery said.

“Having a plan of action in case of an emergency, for both you and your pets, is essential to getting out alive.”

Find out more about how you can prepare your pet for evacuation here

How can I help wildlife affected by bushfires?

The current bushfire season has decimated wildlife populations with University of Sydney ecologist Professor Chris Dickman estimating that almost half a million animals in New South Wales alone have been affected by bushfires since September.

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital has been inundated with wounded animals from across Queensland and northern New South Wales suffering from fire-related injuries.

Australia Zoo owner, Terri Irwin, provided tips on how we can help give our wildlife in bushfire affected areas the best chance at survival.

“Everyone can help wildlife in their backyards by putting out compost scraps, a shallow container of water and shelter areas this bushfire season and call the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL if we see wildlife in need,” Ms Irwin said. 

Wildlife Queensland spokesperson, Des Boyland, said if you do find an injured animal, only handle them if it’s safe and absolutely necessary.

“It depends on the animal, apparent extent of the injuries and location, for example if it is on the road or dangerous location move it to a safe place if fine to do so,” Mr Boyland said.

“If the situation is such that you can wrap the injured animal in a towel and place it in a secure box then call for help or contact your local vet – most vets will provide assistance at no cost.

“However, it is not recommended to attempt to handle animals such as koalas, adult kangaroos and wallabies, snakes or bats unless you are experienced - it is always best to call for help.”

In these situations, call one of the local wildlife rescue organisations below:

For more information on reporting injured wildlife visit the RSPCA website.

Donate or volunteer here:

Stay safe and be prepared during bushfire season with these tips.