Parks and Wildlife issues warning to park visitors

The state's peak environmental conservation body has urged people to refrain from feeding native animals. Photo: Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
The state's peak environmental conservation body has urged people to refrain from feeding native animals. Photo: Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

The state's peak environmental conservation body has urged those visiting WA's national parks to refrain from feeding the native animals following concerns from park managers.

According to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' Parks and Wildlife Service, national park managers have expressed concerns about the number of people using food to lure animals, such as kangaroos, for photographs.

Parks and Wildlife Service senior ranger Christie Bentink said the feeding of wild animals had the ability to encourage bad habits, be detrimental to their health and even lead to aggressive behaviour.

"People love seeing native wildlife in our national parks and reserves," she said.

"While the experience is incredibly rewarding, it's important that we keep these animals safe and independent.

"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.

"Food that is offered to animals may be highly processed or not suitable for them, and could be detrimental to their health, leading to disease and reducing their ability to bear offspring.

"It can make animals sick and we don't want them to become reliant on being fed by humans.

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

Under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, those found to be unlawfully feeding animals could face a fine of up to $20,000.

If you see wildlife that appears to be sick, injured or orphaned, please report it to the Wildcare Helpline on (08) 9474 9055.

This story Parks and Wildlife issues warning for park visitors first appeared on Bunbury Mail.