Sick, injured, or dead reptiles

It is unfortunate that most of the skinks and geckos we see are those 'brought in by the cat'. Many reptiles drop their tails as a decoy and escape.

If you find an animal has not been badly injured then it is best to release it into the area nearby. Providing crevices for skinks to hide, dense bush for geckos and open areas across which lizards may see predators is helpful.

Should the animal need veterinary attention, or be dead, call the Department of Conservation. All native reptiles are 'absolutely protected species' and are the responsibility of DOC.

If you are a keeper with an ill animal then take it to a veterinarian quick!

Native animals

After hours

The Department of Conservation (DOC) emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).

During office hours

Your local DOC office.


There are three registered practices in New Zealand that have funding to work on native wildlife:

  1. Auckland Zoo - Contact: Dr. Richard Jakob-Hoff or Dr. John Potter.
  2. Massey University (Palmerston North) - Contact Dr. Brett Gartrell.
  3. Wellington Zoo - Contact Main Entrance Staff 

Exotic animals, pets, livestock

If there is a case of ill treatment to an animal contact the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Or you can contact your local council.