Group tries to tame urge to keep wildlife

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

An­i­mal ex­perts are dis­cour­ag­ing peo­ple from keep­ing wildlife, mainly kan­ga­roos, as house­hold pets with­out a li­cence or the proper knowl­edge.

Pil­bara Wildlife Car­ers As­so­ci­a­tion chair­woman Rose Best said kan­ga­roos are not ap­pro­pri­ate per­ma­nent pets.

“It’s taken thou­sands of years to do­mes­ti­cate cat­tle and sheep and dogs and cats. You’re not go­ing to take a kan­ga­roo that’s been born in the wild and think you can do­mes­ti­cate it.

“That’s the hard thing to get across to peo­ple. They hit a kan­ga­roo, they pick up the joey and say ‘Oh, it’s cute and cud­dly, I want to raise it’ and there’s a just lot of things to con­sider,” she said.

Ve­teri­nar­ian Tim Mont­gomery of Kar­ratha Ve­teri­nary Hos­pi­tal said wild fauna had spe­cific needs that dif­fered from do­mes­tic an­i­mals.

“Even if you’re a good pet owner, it may not nec­es­sar­ily make you a good wildlife re­ha­bil­i­ta­tor … you need spe­cialised knowl­edge and skills.”

The Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife is­sued a state­ment en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to take the ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures.

“The depart­ment re­quests that peo­ple re­port sick, in­jured or or­phaned wildlife to (our) Wild­care Helpline or their near­est Parks and Wildlife of­fice,” the state­ment said. “The depart­ment can then ar­range for th­ese an­i­mals to be cared for by reg­is­tered wildlife re­ha­bil­i­ta­tors.”

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Peo­ple are be­ing en­cour­aged to take wildlife to a carer.

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