How Old Mascara Wands Are Helping Save Injured Wildlife

Wildlife rescuers are using old mascara wands in a very creative way to save the lives of injured and sick animals.

The staff and volunteers at the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina, USA, work tirelessly to help treat and rehabilitate local injured and orphaned wildlife.

Everything on two, four, or sometimes more(!) legs come through their doors, including turtles, owls, opossums, squirrels, ducklings, rabbits and groundhogs.

They have a few tricks up their sleeve to nurse these animals -- many of which are tiny newborns -- back to health, but one tool in their arsenal might surprise you.

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We're talking about mascara wands. Yes -- that's right, the team uses old mascara wands that have been cleaned and dried to rid their patient's fur and feathers of pests, infections and debris like oil and mud.

The tiny bristles are ideal for capturing near-invisible critters like fleas and their eggs -- which are just half a millimetre in size.

The mascara wands proved so effective that the refuge started their own hashtag -- #WandsforWildlife -- to encourage people to donate their own.

Another organisation -- this time in Scotland -- has also put out the call for these 'magic' wands.

They've even included instructions on how to prep wands before sending them off -- they need a thorough wash in warm soapy water first.

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How Aussies can help

Feeling in the mood to give? We chatted to WIRES -- the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service -- about how Aussies can lend a hand.

"While WIRES cannot use mascara wands in the care of rescued wildlife here in NSW, we do appreciate members of the public donating not just money, but items that we can use and gratefully receive," a spokesperson told 10 daily.

The folks at WIRES love to receive things like towels, specific cages and carriers, 100 percent cotton flat sheets and pillowcases, wildlife food, possum boxes and more.

They are also extremely appreciative of anything they can give away to their hard-working volunteers or auction off at fundraising events, such as tickets to movies or events, hotel or resort stays, spa treatments or passes to attractions.

Feature image: instagram/@appalachianwild.