Can't I keep it?


When finding a native animal we often feel responsible for the welfare of that animal, first instinct tells us that we should make sure it is properly looked after and cared for. Who better than the finder.

It would be lovely for the children to interact and learn about native animals by having one. Yes I can understand the thought behind this, but for the animal it would be disastrous.

Native animals have special needs, they do not take to humans readily, they do not tolerate the same foods as domestic animals, in fact many foods fed to domestic pets, will kill a native animal.

Pouch animals are lactose intolerant, they need special formula if young, they can not survive without it long term

Many sad cases are brought in to care after the finder have tried to rear a native animal only to find that it is deteriorating, it is distressing to all concerned specially the person that has tried in vain and most of all to the animal.

Many factors need to be taken in to consideration before making the decision to care for these animals, the most important factor should be WHAT IS BEST FOR THE ANIMAL LONG TERM.

All native animals must be released, it is against the law for good reason to keep these animals as pets, that is why care organisation's go to such lengths to train carers not only in what and how to feed these animals but also to make sure that they are capable of surviving in the wild after release. What is the point in rearing an animal if it has no chance of recognising what to eat, have no social skills as to how to interact with its own kind, being dependant on human company, and running or flying up to the first dog or cat it sees as a friend.We hear of many different cases where people have kept native animals, in most cases I am sure it is done out of love and concern, not realising the ramifications this may have later. There are too many for me to list here from weak bones, beaks not developed, feathers not growing, fur growth not thick enough to keep the animal warm to name just a few.

All native animals should be reared with more of its own kind, they should not be imprinted learning to live with humans, as the survival long term would most certainly be doubtful , they should be fed natural foods that are recognisable in the wild, as they need to know what to eat once released.

I would like to keep it as a pet.

If we are talking about a Kangaroo or Wallaby please click here, for information.

For birds, possums or any kind of Australia wildlife, animals from the wild belong in the wild, they have not had centuries of domestic breeding as dogs cats and birds bred in captivity, their instinct tells them they are wild, even though if reared wrong they may not be able to cope in the wild.

If you want to do the RIGHT THING by the animal, please contact your nearest wildlife organisation or National Parks office for help, make sure the animal is brought in to care as soon as possible, and you will have done the only right thing by that animal you feel responsible for as the finder.


17 January, 2010


©Wildlife Mountain 2000 - 2017


We would also like to acknowledge the amazing support and help we have had from the Lismore Vet Clinic who have been an invaluable support to both us and the native wildlife of this region.

All native birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are proteced under the Wildlife Act 1975, they may not be captured or harmed in any way without an authority issued under the Wildlife Act.