Please don't feed the animals
When you feed native animals you're giving them the wildlife equivalent of junk food. Instead of eating a wide range of natural foods, they depend on processed seeds, bread and other foods that are not part of their natural diet. This can make them very sick.
Animals that expect to be fed by people can become aggressive, harassing people for food when they are hungry. They may also lose their ability to forage for natural foods.
Think twice before you feed wild animals - a moment's pleasure for you may lead to the animal you feed becoming addicted to junk food.
What about kangaroos, possums and goannas?
Kangaroos and wallabies eat a range of native grasses and herbs and are adapted to chewing and digesting these grasses. Other foods just aren't the same! Roo pellets can also be harmful.
When kangaroos and wallabies become used to being hand-fed, they sometimes attack people in their quest for food. Remember, they have sharp claws and a strong kick.
At night, possums and gliders come out to forage among the treetops for leaves, fruits and flowers. If they get used to being fed by humans, they spend less time foraging and more time raiding your tent or kitchen.
Goannas find it difficult to distinguish between your hand and the food in it. A goanna bite or scratch is very painful and prone to infection as these animals are scavengers. Never feed a goanna - they are dangerous animals.
Remember that kangaroos, wallabies, possums and goannas are wild animals.
Not even birds?
- Hand-fed birds become a nuisance - you may start feeding one or two birds but, within a short space of time, great flocks can descend. This can be a frightening experience, especially for small children. Hand-fed sulphur crested cockatoos like to chew cedar houses when the occupants are not around to feed them.
- Hand-fed birds are susceptible to illnesses that can be transferred to other birds. Young birds lose the ability to forage for food and when not fed by humans may starve. Hand feeding can also affect bird breeding cycles.
- Hand-fed birds take over - populations of some birds such as crimson rosellas increase, displacing other birds and mammals that shelter in tree hollows. When currawongs and ravens are hand-fed they breed up and prey on smaller birds, causing an imbalance in bird populations.
- Find out more information about the dangers of feeding lorikeets.
Remove all rubbish. Never bury rubbish. Animals dig it up.
Page last updated: 15 April 2011