Car­ers fear for fu­ture of reared joeys

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

The Pil­bara Wildlife Car­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion is call­ing for bet­ter aware­ness of the care re­quire­ments for rais­ing red kan­ga­roo joeys after sev­eral in­ci­dents.

Pil­bara Wildlife Car­ers As­so­ci­a­tion co-or­di­na­tor Rose Best said the ser­vice was un­der strain with the re­cent rise in the num­ber of joeys be­ing brought in and a lack of qual­i­fied car­ers.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion has gone from hav­ing about 30 car­ers dur­ing the min­ing boom to only Ms Best and her daugh­ter Amanda tak­ing on the role in Kar­ratha.

“It’s a huge drain on our re­sources rais­ing our kan­ga­roos,” she said. “We see 120 kan­ga­roos a year. That in­cludes in­juries as well as ba­bies.”

Ms Best said the PWCA would gladly as­sist peo­ple who wanted to raise joeys them­selves, which is le­gal, but urged them to get in touch as soon pos­si­ble after tak­ing in the an­i­mal and to make sure they fol­lowed ap­pro­pri­ate care guide­lines.

These in­clude rais­ing joeys in pairs with an­other mem­ber of the same species, feed­ing them ap­pro­pri­ately and or­gan­is­ing their re­lease into the wild when they reach sex­ual ma­tu­rity.

“You can’t raise joeys if you’re in a rental prop­erty, if you have chil­dren un­der eight, or if you have a large dog,” Ms Best said.

The PWCA has re­cently seen sev­eral cases of peo­ple ask­ing to re­lease joeys in their care, which turned out to be ei­ther adult kan­ga­roos or too do­mes­ti­cated, pos­ing prob­lems for their lives in the wild.

Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife Pil­bara wildlife of­fi­cer Chris Roy said peo­ple who cared for joeys needed to be “far more ed­u­cated in gen­eral” on how to do so, in­clud­ing the spe­cial­ist food and equip­ment re­quired.

“Un­der no cir­cum­stances is any­body to think that they can keep it as a pet,” he said.

Amanda Best said the main prob­lem with un­qual­i­fied car­ers, many of whom had the right in­ten­tions, was a lack of aware­ness about how to do it prop­erly.

For more in­for­ma­tion on car­ing for red kan­ga­roos, con­tact PCWA or visit its web­site www.pwca. org.au or con­tact DPaW.

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