Pilbara Wildlife Carers responds to over 5,000 emergency calls each year using the amazing volunteer network supporting our service. With an increase in mining in the Pilbara the need for our services never diminishes and we are constantly in need of new volunteers to respond to our sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.
To be eligible for volunteering with Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association you must be 18 years or older, however juniors are welcome so long as they are under the guidance of their parents. Listed below are some other considerations prior to becoming a wildlife carer.
So you would like to become a wildlife carer...
Please be aware that all joeys need to be handed into care to be stabilised and properly assessed before being handed over to a carer for raising. This is absolutely vital.
Before signing up there are a few questions you need to consider as caring for any native fauna is a big commitment.
What are your work and family commitments? All existing carers have partners, children, pets and jobs and still find the time needed to care for wildlife. Are you able to do this? Depending on the age of the animal you will need to provide regular spaced feed times and not leave it for hours if you are busy. Normally night feeding is not required. Birds require hourly to four hourly feeding during the day.
Do you have children? Having a house full of young children that love to run and play can be too stressful for joeys. Stress can lead to many disorders but most commonly diarrhoea, which leads to a nutritionally compromised joey and may even result in the demise of the animal.
Do you own or own house or are you in rental accommodation?
If you are in rental accommodation you will need to get written permission from your landlord.
Do you have a big enough yard to house the animals? You need enough space for young animals to be able to hop around as well as some grass or lawn where they can graze. They need sheltered areas where they can retreat from the weather.
What type of yard do you have? A yard that is immaculate will not remain so in 8-12 months of having a kangaroo in care. Plants and trees need to be protected or parts of the yard need to be sectioned off to prevent them the yard being eaten. Anything left unprotected will be eaten! As kangaroos grow so does the amount of pooh, and regular pooh patrols are need in order to keep the accumulation of pooh under control and maintain a healthy living environment for humans and animals alike. Red kangaroos like to dig holes to lay in.
Do you have other pets? Dogs have proven unreliable when left alone with a joey. Existing carers ensure that their dogs and joeys are never left alone, and have good practices when managing their pets and joeys. Cats also need to be watched as a cat that likes to hunt can present a real problem for really young joeys. Cats are also a problem if you are wanting to care for birds. However with event of the new cat laws that require cats to be kept in cat runs this will become easier and help prevent the unnecessary killing of native birds.
Do you go away regularly on holidays or long weekends? It is not a good idea to volunteer as a carer if you like getting away on a regular basis. Constantly leaving the animal with different carers while you are away is not in the animals best interest. Going away on a family holiday is possible with thought and planning.
Can you afford to care? To have a couple of animals in care for between 6-12 months can be an expensive exercise. Milk, grain, bottles and teats need to be bought throughout this time. Plus the initial outlay for bags and pouches.
Are you able to raise and release? Are you prepared to raise the joeys and have them as part of your life for up to a year and then still be prepared to let them go when it is time to for them to be released? Many people have problems letting go of the kangaroo they have raised when the time comes. Please consider this as it is vital that you know and understand that the kangaroo will be released at approx 15 to 18 months of age. Failure to release the kangaroo could result in the animal being removed from your care by the Department of Environment and Conservation.
Are you willing to take on two joeys at a time of the same species and of similar age? Joeys need to grow up and imprint on another kangaroo. They need to grow up know that they are kangaroos and not dogs. To this end we pair joeys up to be raised together and then released together. This gives them a play mate as they grow.
If you believe you have considered everything mentioned above and would still like to become a carer we would love to hear from you, go to our Contact Us Page and get in touch with us.