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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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17 November, 2021

Wildlife care group calls for care around new residents

With a new emu brood that is much bigger than in previous years, Western Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre has called for locals to exercise caution when dealing with our newest community members.

By Michael R Williams

The Central West has seen and influx in emu chicks. PHOTO: Angus Emmott, Angus Emmott Photography

AFTER seeing an influx of wildlife activity recently, the Western Rehabilitation Centre has called on residents to be more considerate among our new additions. 

Wildlife Carer Kym Palmer said the larger brood of emu chicks indicated the likelihood of a larger wet season. 

“Usually, emu chicks hatch in early August but, this year, we were noticing them hatch late June late July,” she said. 

“As far as [taking care of the animals], the old saying goes – you drive to the conditions of the road. 

“That doesn’t just apply to road conditions and weather conditions but taking into consideration the wildlife that may be around.”

Ms Palmer said it was important to consider the behaviours of kangaroos, emus, and also predators such as raptors. 

“If you see a carcase up further ahead [while driving], there’s a very good chance there are raptors flying around,” she said.

“Eagles take quite a lot to actually get lift; something we find quite often is an eagle might be on a carcase early in the morning, and they don’t get a chance to get that lift, and they get cleaned up. 

“Something we try to encourage is if somebody has hit an animal to remove it [the carcase] far enough from the road so any predators that also come aren’t also going to get hit.

“Also for kangaroos and possums - any kind of marsupial - you want to check the pouch for babies.” 

Ms Palmer said it was important to note that younger animals can be “erratic”.

“Most wildlife are not adapted to human civilisation so the emu chicks especially can be unpredictable,” she said.

“So, if you’re around them, it is important to slow down.

“To me, slowing down around animals is common sense, but for some people they may need the hint, and a street sign might be a good idea.”

For those who encounter the emus, Ms Palmer said it was important to exercise common sense as they are wild animals. 

“I certainly wouldn’t say they are aggressive, but if you get too close, they might get protective,” she said.

“We’re all going to get protective of our babies, humans react no differently. 

“Keep your distance and be mindful that they are there.”

Ms Palmer said to be careful if feeding them that they don’t become dependent on what it is that you are feeding them, as that food may be nutritionally insufficient. 

“Processed food is not good for humans, let alone wildlife,” she said.

“Try and keep it as natural as possible, emus love spinach leaves.

“We should be able to co-habitat with them.”

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