Kangaroo Rescue in Adelaide | What To Do If You Find a Roo

Rescued kangaroos Image Credit Kangaroo Rescue South Australia

Rescued kangaroos Image Credit Kangaroo Rescue South Australia

Kangaroo Rescue in Adelaide

What to do if you find a Roo

Here in Adelaide we share our backyards with some amazing native flora and fauna, however you’re unlikely to see a kangaroo in your backyard if you live close to the city. But if one were to hop down your street would you know what to do?

What to do if you discover an injured, or lost kangaroo

There are a number of organisations that can help with injured, distressed or lost kangaroos. Many of these are run by unpaid volunteers who meet the costs of rescuing and raising animals in their care. In no particular order here are some that we have come across, as well as some advice on what to do if you discover a lost kangaroo or joey.

Many of these organisations are reliant entirely on donations, and receive no government funding as the bigger organisations do, so if your school is considering raising money for charity you might like to consider helping them out.

Rescued joey Image Credit Willow Wood Sanctuary

Rescued joey Image Credit Willow Wood Sanctuary

Animal rescue organisations in Adelaide and South Australia

♥  Willow Wood Sanctuary | 08 8284 7482 | aldridgemark@bigpond.com | Run by unpaid volunteers, they operate an animal shelter where they tend to injured or lost native animals and wildlife, rehabilitating them releasing them back into the wild where possible.

♥  Fauna Rescue SA | a volunteer non-profit organisation caring for sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife.

♥  Minton Farm Rescue Centre | 8270 1169 | A not for profit organisation providing a free community service to rehabilitate and release injured and orphaned native animals and birds brought to the Centre, located in Cherry Gardens.

♥  Kangaroo Rescue South Australia | lianelaw93@gmail.com | They rescue and care for kangaroos and orphaned joeys.

♥  Native Animal Network South Australia | 0411 102 763 | They rescue and care for orphaned and injured kangaroos, wombats, possums and koalas.

♥  RooResQ | 0417 528 887 | 08 8540 2417 | Will collect orphaned kangaroo and wallaby joeys from anywhere in South Australia. Currently they collect from Mt Gambier to Ceduna. All are cared for and loved.

♥  Alexandrina Wildlife Support Group Inc |  0419 551 653 or 0407 726 351 | alexandrinawildlife@bigpond.com | This group rescues and rehabilitates kangaroos, and other wildlife.

♥  Kangaroo & Wildlife Rescue and Information Service Inc – based in Aldinga Beach

General advice on dealing with an injured, lost or distressed kangaroo

The RSPCA’s advice with any lost animal is to firstly prioritise your own safety and that of others around you. They also suggest contacting one of the many partner organisations that they work with.

The RSPCA have a 24-hour hotline which you can ring for advice. RSPCASA |   1300 4 777 22

Their advice if you find a sick, trapped or injured animal:

  • approach carefully and place your own safety first
  • speak in a quiet tone so as not to startle the animal
  • remove any other animals or potential sources of stress – eg cars, pets, children
  • only move the animal if you absolutely have to
RSPCA-rescue-officers-helping-a-baby-kangaroo1

Image Credit RSPCA website

What to do if you discover a lost joey

Key facts from Fauna Rescue SA Inc | email: info@faunarescue.org.au | phone: (08) 8289 0896

♥  Organise getting it to an experienced wildlife carer as soon as possible

♥  The number one priority if you haven’t cared for a joey successfully before, is that you ring for advice as soon as possible – preferably within an hour of getting the joey into care.

♥  Weigh the joey so the experienced carer you call has an idea of the joey’s age and weight and so that they are able to give the correct advice.

A carer looking after a kangaroo Image Credit Willow Wood Sanctuary

A carer looking after a kangaroo Image Credit Willow Wood Sanctuary

The key requirements for urgent short term care of joeys are:

  • warmth
  • quiet; and
  • fluids

An orphaned joey must be given a pouch or something warm to snuggle in.  A pillowslip is a good internal pouch- and then slip this into a warm blanket or polar fleece bag.

Keep the joey in a quiet place in the house and away from children, other animals and TV.

The joey must be allowed to sleep uninterrupted between feeds as the stress from frequent handling or noise can set off serious illness or death.

Do not give kangaroos cows milk – this will kill them because kangaroos are lactose intolerant 

Joeys need to be toileted every three to four hours. Cleanliness is essential.  Sterilize any equipment used to feed the joey, and change the pouch the second that it becomes soiled by faeces or formula.

Rescued joey Image Credit Alexandrina Wildlife Support Group Inc (AWSG)

Rescued joey Image Credit Alexandrina Wildlife Support Group Inc (AWSG)

Detailed guide to rescuing joeys

The Native Animal Network of SA have written a comprehensive guide for caring for joeys.

Rescuing joeys

We know you would rescue a joey in a heartbeat, so here’s some information that will give you the confidence to do so, and give the joey its best chance of surviving long term.

There are joeys in pouches now who are at an age where they need special people to save them. If you come across a dead kangaroo, wombat, koala or possum please check the pouch for live young, even if the animal has been dead awhile.

Unfurred joeys attached to a teat need to have the teat cut off as close to the mothers body as possible, and to then have a nappy pin sized pin put through the cut end so the joey does not swallow and choke to death on the teat.

Please under no circumstances pull a joey off its mothers teat. The damage done by doing this is often irreparable and prevents the joey from being able to take a bottle.. The joey will release the teat in its own time and must be allowed to do so.

Once this is done, then it is into a pouch, which you then need to put under your warm clothing, and against your skin so that your body heat keeps the joey warm.

An unfurred joey, even if well wrapped and in a warm environment, will not keep their own heat, as they cannot thermo regulate until they have a decent coat of dense fur on them. Now having said that, a furred joey could be in shock and needs to be warmed up too. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep them body temperature warm.

Once you have the joey snug and warm against your skin and in no danger of swallowing a teat if you have cut it off, then it is time to ring a rescue group, or carer and get the joey into care asap to maximise its chances of surviving.

There is no need to try to feed the joey, or to give it a drink of water. They require species specific milk formulas and to be warm, stable and assessed for shock or injury before they are given anything…

So now you know what to do and why, here is a list of rescue items to keep in your car.

  • a nappy pin
  • a small pair of scissors
  • a substitute pouch . This can be a beanie, a flannelette pillowcase or a small blanket or warm jumper that be used to swaddle the joey, just as you would a human baby.
  • a heat source. Preferably your own body as it is the ideal temperature to keep a joey warm and viable.

But, if you are queasy about putting a joey next to your skin and under your warm clothing, then the cheap shops have heat packs that you can crack that will keep a joey warm. Please be very mindful though, if you use one that if the joey feels warmer than body temperature then it is too hot!

Copyright Jo Morris
Please Note : Permission to reproduce this article in its entirety is given, if the author and source are acknowledged. Thankyou.


For more information and all enquiries please call the numbers or visit the websites listed above.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

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