DSE Wildlife Officers are particularly concerned about a growing trend of injured wildlife being cared for by members of the public without authorisation, according to a media release from the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE).
DSE North East Wildlife Officer Gary Dash said during the next few months the numbers of juvenile wildlife requiring care will increase across the region.
“Baby magpies, possums, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and other animals are commonly found at this time of year and may require help from trained wildlife carers before they can be returned to the wild
“Inappropriate care by members of the public, who think they are doing the right thing, can significantly decrease an animal’s chance of recovery.
“In some cases, even if the animal recovers from the initial injury or illness, it may have developed behaviours that mean it cannot be released back into the wild.
“Wildlife has specialised handling, dietary and housing requirements and cannot be treated in the same way as domestic pets or livestock.
“To give injured wildlife the best chance of survival and release back into the wild, it is vital they receive the right treatment and handling and that they are kept in an appropriate environment,” Mr Dash said.
Under the Wildlife Act (1975) the unlawful possession of protected wildlife can result in a maximum fine of $7042 and/or 6 months imprisonment.
People who find injured or orphaned wildlife can contact their nearest animal shelter by phoning Help for Wildlife 0417 380 687 or Wildlife Victoria 1300 094 535 (13 000 WILDLIFE).
Here’s a few simple tips on how you can help to protect our wildlife:
- Ensure you and your pet are not endangering native animals.
- Learn more about how to protect endangered Hooded Plovers.
- Stay off the dunes! They are homes to lots of lovely critters.
Many wildlife species call our local their home. Here is a small pictorial sample of just some of them.
Have you come across any sick or injured wildife on the coast recently?
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Look out for wonderful wildlife