15 Feb 2022


Have you ever wondered what happens after an animal is found injured? What it takes to treat them, and return them back to the wild? The rescue is just the beginning…

Wildlife carers not only coordinate the roles of rescuers and local vets in emergencies but provide many hours of devoted care for sick, injured or orphaned native wildlife after the initial rescue. This includes treatment, foster care and rehabilitation so that each animal is given exactly what it needs for a successful release back to the wild.

However, a lack of funding means these incredibly committed and dedicated carers simply don’t have the capacity to meet the gaping need. Especially in highly impacted areas across southeast Australia, where wildlife services can be few and far between.

Help bridge the gaps in wildlife care and save the animals we love.

This is a massive problem. Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate of anywhere in the world, with climate change, landclearing and roadside accidents largely to blame. And it’s not just larger mammals like wombats, kangaroos and koalas who are in dire need of rescue; millions of smaller animals including birds, reptiles and frogs, are also impacted each year on our roads. It’s a deepening crisis and one that demands urgent action.

If we don’t bridge the gaps in wildlife care, we could lose many of our precious native species forever.

With our iconic wildlife at risk, WWF-Australia has partnered with organisations including Reach Out Wildlife Australia (ROWA) in the Alpine region of Victoria, one of the most under-resourced areas, to ensure that injured and sick native animals get the life-saving care they need.

Here are just some of the injured animals that have been given a second chance thanks to the incredible team at ROWA. Your support today could help many more.


Yogi-Bear is a bare-nosed wombat, victim of a road accident; he was fortunately rescued and taken to ROWA, where his traumatic injuries were treated. After much care and love, Yogi-Bear is slowly regaining his confidence, step by step.

Betty the bare-nosed wombat in care with ROWA

Iggy and Betty

Iggy and Betty are also bare-nosed wombats. Iggy was found wandering aimlessly in a paddock, petrified and exhausted. He was covered in scratches, ticks and bites, his pink paw pads were worn and dirty.

Iggy Bear the bare-nosed wombat in care with ROWA

Found on the road by a passerby, Betty was also covered in ticks, sores and bite wounds. Thanks to the team at ROWA, both are now doing much better.


Another victim of the highway, Violet, an eastern grey kangaroo, was found by the roadside in the pouch of her deceased mother that had been struck by a car. For other kangaroos in this situation, that would have been the end. However, thanks to ROWA and the passer-by who brought her in, Violet is now happily thriving. She has become very confident, hopping around the yard as she gets ready for the day when she is old enough to be released back to her natural habitat.

Violet the eastern grey kangaroo joey in care with ROWA


Another joey, named June, found herself at the ROWA shelter after a dog chased her mother. During times of stress, a survival adaptation by kangaroos can result in joeys’ being ejected from the pouch. Thankfully the orphaned joey was rescued in time and has settled in beautifully at ROWA’s shelter.

June the eastern grey kangaroo joey in care with ROWA


Grace was brought to ROWA by a caring family who noticed the joey’s mother had slipped from a high embankment and passed away. Inside her pouch was a beautiful little female.

Grace the swamp wallaby joey in care with ROWA


Tiny joey Willowby was handed into a pub one night by motorists who had sadly collided with her mother. Fortunately, the motorists had the heart to check her pouch.

Willowby the swamp wallaby joey in care with ROWA


Perhaps one of the smallest animals in this list, weighing just 95 grams when she arrived at ROWA, was MJ, a ringtail possum, who was found alone at the bottom of a tree, her mother sadly missing. Full of curiosity, MJ has been a delight to the ROWA team and is now recovering alongside Peter Parker, an even tinier ringtail possum who weighed just 65 grams when he too was found on the ground alone.

MJ the ringtail possum in care with ROWA

These are just some of the animals who have found themselves in need of desperate care and were fortunate enough to receive it. They were given a second chance and were able to recover and regain their confidence so that they could be released back into their natural habitat when strong enough.

Sadly, not all rescues have such happy endings. Wildlife carers like ROWA have to cover a huge area on a shoestring budget, and sometimes it’s just too late, and there’s nothing they can do. This devastating toll will continue to grow every day unless we significantly boost the capacity of wildlife rescue and care facilities.

As part of WWF-Australia’s goal to Regenerate Australia, we want to ensure that no injured animal is more than two hours away from professional veterinary treatment and care in key regions.

But to do that, we need you to help bridge the gaps in wildlife care and save the animals we love.

Your donation could help fund vital wildlife care and rescue training, assist in building and maintaining new enclosures, as well as supporting and expanding shelter operations and rescues in preparation for future fires, floods and storms.

If you do come across sick or injured wildlife, please contact your local wildlife rescue service or WIRES: 1300 094 737. Find out what to do in our blog here.