To help your local wildlife rescue is a good idea, as most are running on a shoestring budget, with an increasing number of casualties due to pollution, litter and road traffic. You could train up to help with direct care, or be a volunteer driver, or just help with raising funds or items on wish lists (from old newspapers to medical supplies).
One of the best ways to indirect your local wildlife rescue is to organise a litter clean-up (plastic, elastic bands, glass, tins and ocean litter all cause harm). If you have graphic design skills, use Canva to offer gorgeous brochures and branding for animal shelters, using the free templates. Or if you’re a builder or ‘the kind of man who knows how to do stuff’, most shelters will welcome you with open arms, to help build new outhouses and secure runs, or repair things.
One other good idea is to gift your wildlife shelter some nice books. These are the gold-standard manuals (because they are professional, they are quite expensive – £20 or £30). So club together and they then get expert advice (these books are also good for vets):
- Practical Wildlife Care is by founder of Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital
- Wildlife Search and Rescue has good global advice
- A Beginner’s Guide to Rearing Baby Birds
- BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties
Found Injured Wildlife?
Most vets will freely take in injured wildlife, but local rescues (find at Help Wildlife likely have better expertise). Keep a cardboard box with ventilation holes in your car, along with the number of your local rescue in your phone. You can get free advice by calling:
- Tiggywinkles or Secret World
- British Hedgehog Preservation Society
- British Divers Marine Life Rescue
For larger wildlife injured wildlife on roads, the police will come out (as this presents a danger to all). For concern over abuse, report to National Wildlife Crime Unit and/or Crimestoppers (anonymous, if wished).
Wildlife Rescue Around the World
- Irish Wildlife Matters is a fabulous resource if you live in Ireland. It has links on what to do and how to get help, and how to train in wildlife rescue. Also see Seal Rescue Ireland, Ulster Wildlife and Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland.
- Find a Wildlife Rescue (US)
- Wildlife Rescue in Ontario & British Columbia. Get help to release from National Rehab.
- WIRES (AU) or IFAW’s Wildlife Rescue App
- Wildlife Rehabbers of NZ
How to Hold Animals is a delightful treasure trove of tips on how to hold animals, without hurting them. Should you hold a mouse by its tail? A Grasshopper by its leg? A butterfy by its wing? How do you pick up a prickly hedgehog? Or a slithering snake? Or a hissing cat? most of us don’t have enough experience to know, and are scared we may hurt them, or they use. This is a shame, as connecting with animals can make you feel at peace, and aligned with nature. This book shows how to hold beetles to hamsters, chickens to dogs. Fully illustrated, this book leaves no stone stone unheated, even saying whether you should go for the smaller or bigger horn, if you have to pick up a stag beetle.