TAFE NSW Forbes has delivered its first short course in Native Animal Basic Rescue and First Aid for community members who want to be better equipped to care for injured wildlife.
According to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, 80,000 sick, injured or orphaned animals are rescued by registered wildlife volunteers each year, with over 8000 volunteers directly involved in wildlife rehabilitation in 2020-21.
TAFE NSW Animal Studies teacher, Amber Kerr, said the aim of Native Animal Basic Rescue and First Aid short course was to give participants the skills to provide the basic care required to keep an animal alive before help arrives.
“Not all regional areas have wildlife rangers or volunteers stationed nearby, so it can take some time for help to arrive when a member of the community finds an injured animal,” Ms Kerr said.
“Wildlife volunteers play an important role in rehabilitating our native animals and this course enables our community to support them in these vital roles.
“An attendee of the course came across an injured kangaroo the following weekend and she felt confident knowing exactly what to do, how to keep it safe, who to call and how to check a pouch and extract a joey properly.”
Beck Cheney has always had a passion for Australian wildlife and saw the short course as an opportunity to learn about how to correctly provide first aid and high-quality care to native animals.
“I found it really interesting learning how to safely check for joeys in the mother's pouch and the correct procedure on how to remove a Joey from the mother if she had not survived,” Ms Cheney said.
“We also learnt how to identify native birds and how to provide a safe environment for them if they are injured.
“The hands-on approach throughout the course was very valuable because we had the opportunity to work on real animals and ensure we are properly equipped to help injured wildlife.”
TAFE NSW delivers a wide range of accredited animal-related courses including Certificate III in Veterinary Nursing, Animal Care, Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care and Horse Care. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au.