First Aid - What You Can Do for Injured or Abandoned Wild Animals

Native wild animals

If you come across a native wild animal in Singapore please, in most instances, leave him/her where he/she is. Never pick up a healthy young wild animal, even if he/she looks alone and lost. In the vast majority of cases, the parents are never far away. Removing wild animals from their natural habitat is a criminal offence for the majority of species in Singapore.

However, there are some occasions when a wild animal may need human assistance. If you find a wild animal who is obviously in distress or severely injured, you can call the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline on 97837782 for advice and assistance, and we will quickly be on our way to help the animal.

The following are useful guidelines to follow if you are concerned about a wild animal:

When does an animal need rescuing?

<li>When the animal’s parent(s) are known to be dead (young, unweaned animals).</li>
<li>When the animal is thin, cold, weak or appears sick.</li>
<li>When the animal is injured.</li>
<li>When there are flies buzzing around or crawling on the animal.</li>
<li>When the animal is in obvious danger.</li>
<li>When the animal has been in the mouth of a cat.</li>
<li>When a bird’s nest containing chicks has fallen out of a tree and cannot be put back (however if you do find a nest on the ground, if possible put it back into the nearest tree without touching the chicks).</li>

When NOT to rescue.

<li>When you would endanger yourself or others.</li>
<li>When the animal appears healthy (adult and young animals).</li>
<li>When one or both parents remain alive or are probably still alive (young animals).</li>
<li>When the injury is old and the animal appears in good health.</li>
<li>When you have to chase the animal (try again later and call ACRES for assistance-do not stress the animal).</li>
Call the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline for advice on 97837782. The ACRES Wildlife Rescue Team will be dispatched to come and rescue the animal.

If the animal needs immediate assistance, is in immediate danger or may escape, you can execute the rescue whilst awaiting help from ACRES to arrive as follows:

<li class=”first”>Where possible, we do not recommend picking animals up with your hands, even wearing gloves. If an animal is severely injured or immobile, simply place a container over the top of him/her. Then slide the lid or a thin board underneath, then gently turn the container so the animal ends up in the bottom and then cap it. Make sure there are breathing holes in it.</li>
<li>Treat for mild shock.
<li>Keep the animal WARM (80-85 degrees; 90 degrees for neonates).</li>
<li>Keep the animal QUIET.</li>
<li class=”last”>Keep the animal in a DARK container.</li>

If you come across a wild animal in critical condition and wish to immediately take him or her to the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Centre or a nearby veterinarian please follow the following guidelines:

<li>DON’T play the radio when transporting an animal.</li>
<li>DON’T put the animal in the back of a pick-up truck.</li>
<li>DON’T put an unconscious animal on the seat of your car or leave him/her uncontained in your car. ALWAYS contain him/her.</li>
<li>Use air conditioner sparingly, if at all. Animals in shock cannot regulate their body temperature. A temperature that is too cool could place them in an irreversible shock condition.</li>
<li>If others are with you, speak in a low voice. Try to keep conversation to a minimum.</li>

Abandoned exotic animals

Exotic wild animals who are illegally sold and kept as pets in Singapore are often found abandoned in parks and nature reserves, discarded by owners who no longer wish to take care of them. They may also be found wandering around housing areas, or in fact anywhere in Singapore. These animals often cannot survive in Singapore’s environment and may slowly starve to death or succumb to disease. If they do survive, they will compete with our native wild animals for resources and unbalance the delicate balance of our natural ecosystems, perhaps even wiping out native wild animal populations.

If you find a non-native wild animal in Singapore please call the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline 97837782 and we will dispatch our rescue team immediately to come and rescue the animal.

Some of the species you are most likely to come across are the star tortoise, pig-nosed turtle and green iguana, but there are many others.

Unfortunately, due to space constraints, we cannot take in abandoned red-eared sliders at the AWRC, as it is not illegal to keep them as pets in Singapore and they are not a native species. The AWRC is only licensed for abandoned or surrendered exotic reptiles and amphibians who were being illegally kept as pets in Singapore, or for native species.

How We Help Rescued Wild Animals

ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline

Our Facilities

Our Careers

Our Rescued Wild Animals

Our Native Wildlife Rescues

Wildlife Repatriation

<p style=”text-align: center;”>Our heartfelt thanks to SPH Foundation for sponsoring diesel for the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Van from November 2011 until November 2014.</p>

Wildlife Rescue FAQs

What animals does ACRES rescue?

ACRES rescues any wild animals in need of help in Singapore. This includes native wild animals (such as pythons, monitor lizards, civets and pangolins) and also exotic animals who have been illegally brought into Singapore to be illegally sold as pets, who may be handed over to us by their owners, or may be found abandoned.

At the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Centre (AWRC) we can, at this stage, house rescued reptiles and amphibians only. In the future we will be able to house certain species of mammals too.

What happens to the animals that you rescue?

For native wild animals, if they pass their health checks they will be released back into the wild, at a suitable site, straight away. If a native reptile or amphibian needs treatment and some time to recover before being released back to the wild, we will bring them to the AWRC for treatment and for a recovery period in the Wildlife Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre.

If a rescued native mammal or bird cannot be returned straight to the wild, we will provide veterinary treatment and then hand them over to the AVA. In the future, once construction of the AWRC is completed, we will be able to take all rescued mammals in for treatment at the AWRC if necessary.

For reptiles and amphibians (and in the future, mammals) rescued from the illegal wildlife trade, these animals will have a safe home at the AWRC for as long as they need it, and we will do our best to repatriate them to rescue centres in their country of origin.

What do I do if I find a wild animal in need of help?

Call the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline on 97837782 for advice and assistance. There will be someone to take your call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

I’ve been keeping a turtle as a pet, but I didn’t know it was illegal. Now that I know, can I hand over my turtle to ACRES?

Yes, you can bring the animal to the AWRC (91 Jalan Lekar, Singapore 698917) or, if you are unable to come here yourself, we can come and collect the animal from you. For more details please contact Ms. Anbarasi Boopal, Director of the AWRC at <a href=””></a> or call the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline on 97837782.

I have a red eared slider that I no longer want to keep - can I hand him over to ACRES even though it is not illegal to keep them?

ACRES does not take in red-eared sliders at the AWRC as we need to keep the space we have at the Wildlife Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre for rescued exotic animals that are illegal to be kept as pets in Singapore and also for native animals in need of help.

If you really cannot keep your red eared slider as a pet anymore it is important that you find a proper, secure home for him.

Please do not release your red-eared slider into a park or nature reserve- not only is this against the law, but he or she may well die a slow, painful death if he cannot find food or a safe place to live. If he does survive, his presence will unbalance Singapore’s delicate ecosystem and his competing for food will push our native turtles and other wild animals towards extinction.

Do I have to pay for ACRES to come and remove a wild animal from my home or garden?

We do not charge to come and remove wild animals from your home, although donations are always much appreciated and allow us to continue and expand our wildlife rescue efforts.

Can I visit the animals at the AWRC?

Unfortunately, as of 2010, you cannot see the animals at the AWRC, as they are all housed in a quarantine facility which is accessible to ACRES staff only. However, you are more than welcome to drop by and learn more about our wildlife rescue work and all our other animal protection programmes! We also have a range of educational programmes on offer at the AWRC for schools, community groups, or anyone who would like to learn more about wildlife protection.

Can I volunteer to help look after the rescued animals at the AWRC?

Yes, ACRES has a special “Wildlife Guardians” volunteer programme for people aged over 17, which includes opportunities to assist with animal care at the AWRC. This involves a compulsory training course, and you must also have various vaccinations before you can work with the animals.

More details about the Wildlife Guardians programme can be found <a>here</a>.

Can we adopt animals from the AWRC and keep them as pets?

You cannot adopt any of the animals from the AWRC and take them home with you, as they are either exotic animals that are illegal to keep as pets in Singapore, or native wild animals who need to be returned to the wild. ACRES is also strongly against the keeping of wild animals as pets on welfare grounds, so this is not something we would ever encourage.

However, you are very welcome to sponsor an animal at the AWRC, perhaps paying for his or her food, their medical care, making their enclosure a comfortable home etc, through our Animal Supporter Scheme. For more details please drop a mail to

How can we support the wildlife rescue work of ACRES?

We are always in need of funds to keep our rescue services going.

You can support our wildlife rescue work through our <a>Animal Supporter Scheme</a>.

Our wildlife rescue service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Right now, we are being called to rescue as many as 30 animals every month.

It costs us anywhere from SGD$80 to SGD$500 to rescue a tortoise, pangolin, monitor lizard or other wild animal and release him or her back into the wild. This includes the cost of a medical check-up, a microchip implant, medication, treatment, equipment, manpower and transportation. And the costs are much higher for injured creatures who need long-term care and nursing before they are well enough to be released.

Not only are funds needed to keep the AWRC running (which means regularly restocking supplies of everything from food and substrate to diesel and disinfectant), we also need to upgrade our medical equipment.