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Helping SA wildlife affected by bushfires

You can help South Australia’s koalas and other wildlife affected by bushfires by contacting the South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management team (SAVEM).

Image courtesy of John Jennings via Flickr

SAVEM is set up to provide large-scale emergency wildlife response during bushfires across the state.

National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia spokesperson Professor Chris Daniels said SAVEM collaborates with other agencies, including the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) and the RSPCA, to respond to animal welfare issues in-field.

“We have many fantastic trained volunteer carers in South Australia ready to help distressed and injured wildlife and the best way to help out wildlife is by contacting SAVEM to coordinate the effort,” Professor Daniels said.

“We greatly appreciate wildlife rescue volunteers who look after South Australia’s animals all year around. During this bushfire emergency SAVEM is the go-to wildlife rescue effort for the state.

“Only appropriately trained members are authorised to carry out emergency wildlife rescue and care activities.”

There are also a few things everyone can do to help animals during a bushfire, such as: 

  • Leave shallow bowls of water out for animals and birds escaping fires. Add a few sticks or stones on one side to allow smaller animals to escape if they fall in.
  • Keep a cardboard box and towel in the boot of your car in case you find an injured animal that you can safely contain without putting yourself in any danger.
  • If you rescue an animal that has been burnt, do not attempt to feed it. Wrap it loosely, ideally in 100% cotton fabric, place it in a ventilated box with a lid and keep it in a dark, quiet place while waiting for a rescuer or for transport to the nearest vet.

To get in contact with SAVEM call 0477 055 233 or email info@savem.org.au.

SAVEM’s mission is to assess, triage, treat, shelter, reunite with owners or rehabilitate and return to habitat all species of animals post event. SAVEM has been activated by PIRSA.

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