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Topics > River Murray floods

Wildlife in floods

Animal welfare is paramount in all situations and the Department for Environment and Water has been working to minimise the likelihood of wildlife suffering from the flood.

The South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) group and DEW were activated by PIRSA on 19 November to advise on animal welfare issues associated with River Murray flooding. While both are now formally deactivated, the department continues to monitor wildlife impacts even as waters recede.

SAVEM is a response and recovery organisation deployed during emergencies to assess, rescue, triage, treat, shelter and return to owners, habitat or suitable long-term care, animals of all species.

The department used flood inundation modelling to determine areas where wildlife were expected to be affected by flood waters. These desktop assessments were complemented by regular on-water, and rotary and fixed-wing aerial surveillance. This surveillance and the welfare response will continue as flood waters recede.

The department asks that people report concerns about animals affected by receding floodwaters using the form on the department’s website so that those animals can be provided appropriate assessment and treatment.

Members of the public can take sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, where it is safe for both people and animals to do so, to a local veterinary clinic for treatment.