Authorities fed up with threat to animals

Geraldton Guardian

The WA Government has urged the public to refrain from feeding native animals, following a rise in the number of people doing so at national parks.

“Visitors travel from around the world to photograph Western Australia’s native wildlife,” Parks and Wildlife Service senior ranger Christie Bentink said.

“While many do the right thing, park managers are concerned by the number of people using food to get closer to animals such as kangaroos, for photos.”

During spring, nationals parks across the Mid West are populated by local, interstate and international visitors seeking out wildflower hotspots.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


Ms Bentink said feeding wild animals can result in them developing bad habits, like encouraging them to beg for food rather than foraging or hunting for it themselves.

“In some cases, this reliance can lead to aggressive behaviour and pose a safety risk to people,” she said.

“People love seeing native wildlife in our national parks and reserves. While the experience is incredibly rewarding, it’s important that we keep these animals safe and independent,” Ms Bentink said.

“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.”

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

For more information on national parks in the area or to keep up-to-date with the latest warnings, visit www.parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/.

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

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails