Our wildlife should not be pets

SUGAR gliders, possums and joeys may seem like great pets, but wildlife carers in the Bundaberg region are warning residents that adopting these animals is ultimately a death sentence for them.

Rosedale wildlife carer Judy Elliott is distraught with the number of animals coming in which are close to death after someone has decided to rear them.

She recently received a baby sugar glider who was fed just honey and water for more than two weeks.

“People don’t realise that these animals need to be fed special formulas or they will die,” Mrs Elliott said.

“Even if they do survive, when they are released they have no idea how to take care of themselves.”

Mrs Elliott said that many animals are kept with dogs and cats and when released, have no idea that dingoes, cats, foxes and other predators are dangerous.

“A lot of people also don’t realise that keeping these native animals is illegal,” she said.

Mrs Elliott said another problem with release was when group animals were set free on their own.

“Some animals, especially sugar gliders, live in colonies,” she said.

“If they are released alone they will die. They need to be released in groups of at least five to have a chance.”

“The longest someone can keep an animal is 72 hours before they need to be taken to a carer or a vet.”

Mrs Elliott said people should become a carer if they want to look after these animals.

“The situation is very upsetting because people only need to make a call and ask someone for help,” she said.

“Any vet will take care of the animal and pass them onto a wildlife carer. I don’t mind people taking care of animals but they have to do it the right way.”

The Queensland Wildlife Carers and Volunteers Association will hold a barbecue at Bunnings on December 19 to raise funds for the cause.

Residents can stop by to get more information on wildlife and how to become involved.



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