Why do native animals need special care?

Most animals, whether they are domestic or wild have the same needs: warmth, shelter, a balanced diet and the ability to avoid predators. But native species also have special needs. Each species eats specific food and some animals can become very sick or even die if fed the wrong food. For instance most native mammals cannot digest cow’s milk and must be fed special formula. Some birds eat insects, others grain, others nectar and others meat. Identifying a bird in care is essential before attempting to feed it anything.

Feeding techniques are also very important and carers need to be specially trained for each species, using the right equipment. Using the wrong technique or the wrong teat size can result in overfeeding or pushing food down the respiratory track which is likely to kill the animals.

Native animals are not pets. They must be cared for in a way that maximises their chance of going back in the wild. For native animals to prosper, they must be taught to find their own food, to avoid humans and other predators such as dogs and cats. Carers have to make sure that the animals in their care are not humanized and are capable of surviving in the wild upon release.

Special skills are needed when caring for native wildlife and NQ Wildlife Care aims to assist carers in developing these skills based on advice and supervision. We always welcome new members and carers, so please get in touch!

What to do if you find a native animal

That depends on the type of animal, where it is and whether it needs help.

  • If the animal is injured, unwell or seems to be unable to survive without intervention, please contact NQWC and we will rescue the animal or provide advice on how to rescue it. If you can transport the animal, your help will be much appreciated.
  • If the animal seems to be in good health, is not distressed, is in no danger, and is not a danger to people, the best advice is to simply leave it alone and monitor it from a distance.
  • If you are not sure whether or not it needs help, contact NQWC for advice.

Please see I’ve Found a… for more information

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