South Australia’s 7 most surprising animal rescues of 2017

January 29, 2018

Animals are clever little creatures but, like us, they can get themselves into a touch of trouble every now and then. Thankfully, our brilliant team of RSPCA South Australia rescue officers specialise in lending a helping hand to animals in strife.

They’ve helped us compile a list of their top seven rescues of 2017, complete with happy endings.

1. Polly wanna cracker?

This friendly sulphur crested cockatoo was in quite the pickle when Rescue Officer Brigitte found him in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs last year. With his feet firmly stuck in the grating of a veranda, he was unable to escape on his own. But with Brigitte’s help and the aid of a few ladders, this bustling birdy was successfully freed.

2. Basket o’ puppies

This glorious litter of pups were found after their lactating mum turned up at an Adelaide vet clinic in September – but her puppies were nowhere to be found. Our inspectors launched a frenzied hunt in the surrounding streets until they found her pups. The cute canine family were taken into our care and have all since found their forever homes, mum included.

3. Yo-no

This distressed magpie was spotted hanging upside-down high in a tree in December, apparently trapped. A concerned local called Rescue Officer Soraya, who discovered the bird was actually tangled in a small toy yo-yo. With power lines in the way, SA Power Network’s trusty cherry picker came to the rescue and bought the maggie down to safety. The yo-yo was cut away and, after a check for any further injuries, the little guy was released just in time for Christmas.

4. Swanning around

Swan rescue

In late October, Rescue Officer Brigitte was called out to the River Torrens to help a distressed black swan spotted with a fishing hook caught painfully in its beak. Brigitte was able to capture the bird safely and bring him to the Adelaide Animal Hospital, where veterinarians successfully removed the hook. The happy swan was grateful to be released back into his favourite swimming haunt soon after. See the heart-warming video here.

5. Wild ride

Kelly incredibly survived a 15km-drive by clinging to the wheel axel. Photo by Jane Brister of Fauna Rescue SA,  via ABC.

Kelly the six-year-old koala was found hitchhiking a ride from the Adelaide Hills in September – in the wheel arch of a four-wheel drive. The unsuspecting driver only noticed terrified Kelly after a leisurely 16km cruise, when he pulled up and heard her cries for help. Our friends at Fauna Rescue SA and South Australia’s Metropolitan Fire Service removed the car wheel and were able to pull Kelly to safety. She received vet care for minor injuries and was later released back into the wild. See amazing footage from Kelly’s rescue here

6. Feathery situation

An Adelaide homeowner played witness to a brutal air assault in his own Cheltenham backyard last September. Two large crows were preying upon a barn owl, repeatedly swooping aggressively, until the owl eventually fell from a great height, suffering a nasty concussion.  The homeowner swiftly called RSPCA South Australia and Rescue Officer Dave answered the call for help. The owl was given the care it required and was released back into the wild a few days later.

7. Christmas miracle

Five tiny kittens were dumped in a wheelie bin at West Lake Shores – on Christmas Day, no less. The bin lid was closed and the sun was beating down, but thankfully an alert member of the public took notice and called RSPCA South Australia. Rescue Officer Brigitte quite literally came to the rescue and helped save these gorgeous babies. While sadly one kitten lost his life, the rest of the litter is now safe and sound in the loving arms of their foster parents.


A big round of applause for our wonderful RSPCA South Australia rescue team, who work tirelessly year-round to ensure the safety and welfare of animals in need. Our rescue officers are funded entirely by community donations, so to all our supporters: thank you for helping us help animals.

If you notice an animal in distress, please don’t hesitate to contact our rescue team by calling 1300 4 777 22. Who knows, your rescue story might just appear on this list next year.

2 thoughts on “South Australia’s 7 most surprising animal rescues of 2017”

  1. Isabella McIntosh

    brilliant work everyone in the RSPCA!!!

  2. Isabella McIntosh

    good job it was heart warming reading these stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to news archive