Carers fear for future of reared joeys
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.