Bad animal behaviour link to holiday selfies

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
This might be a safe selfie option.
Camera IconThis might be a safe selfie option. Credit: Getty Images

Visitors to our region may be risking more than just their lunch, or their fingertips, if they feed native wildlife in the State’s national parks.

Not only does feeding wildlife increase the safety risk to humans, these visitors may also be breaking the law.

Under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2018, penalties may apply to people feeding wildlife without approval.

Parks and Wildlife Service senior ranger Christie Bentink said feeding wild animals could result in them developing bad habits, like encouraging them to beg for food rather than foraging or hunting for it themselves.

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While most people do the right thing, she said park managers were concerned by the number of people using food to get closer to animals such as kangaroos in order to take selfies.

Highly processed food could be detrimental to the animals’ health, and in some cases the reliance on humans for food could lead to aggressive behaviour.

“We know that people have the best intentions when they feed animals such as ducks, swans, quenda and kangaroos, but unfortunately it can be doing more harm than good,” Ms Bentink said.

“It can make animals sick.

“They are wild animals and they need to be able to fend for themselves.”

Sick, injured or orphaned wildlife should be reported to the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

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