Mon 14Dec98; 0940hrs
I agree with Atriplex Anne, and Brian. I was supervisor for a time at a
Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Perth. The caring attitude of the
volunteers was strong and the work often rewarding, especially when the
animal (indigenous) pulled thru and was released (back to where it came
However, I did and still do have mixed feelings about the whole concept of
rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing back into the wild rehabilitated
animals - ESPECIALLY baby animals.
Most baby animals need to learn from their own kind how to survive (I'm
allowing for cuckoos et al by saying "most"). For those that must learn to
cope in the "wild", they must learn what food is right for them, how to
find it, how to collect it, even how to eat it; how to recognise water;
what to avoid; what is dangerous, etc. etc.; and the many social skills
they must have to "fit in", find a mate, and pass on their genes. That's
probably not all, but its a taste for thinking.
We can't teach these things to a wild animal. I suspect, in the long run,
many rehabilitated wild juvenile animals do not cope well out there, and
may even die a slow death due to starvation, or be killed as an intruder by
others of its own or other species.
My intention is not to put people off about caring for sick, injured or
"abandoned" animals, but I think we should think about why we do it and
does it really benefit the animal in the long run.
There are other issues to be considered also, but I think I've opened up
enough of a can of worms with these comments, that may result in all sorts
of responses, so I'll leave it at that for now.
> From: Brian Fleming <>
> To: Anne & Roger Green <>
> Cc: bette <>;
> Subject: Re: Wring its neck!
> Date: Saturday, 12 December 1998 11:12
> Anne & Roger Green wrote:
> > While I agree in principle with your sentiments, there is
> > justification
> > for a more tolerant viewpoint.
> > 1. The ID was not certain when the RFI was sent.
> > 2. Some-one relatively new to birding, as I think the sender must be,
> > deserves encouragement and a more informative reply, not a knock-back.
> > 3. Info on rearing young birds is somewhat generic, so practise gained
> > with a sparrow (which, arguably is expendable) may one day be useful
> > for
> > a native bird in trouble.
> > 4. Birds and other creatures in trouble elicit, in many of us, a
> > protective, nurturing instinct which, even if sometimes mis-directed,
> > is, I feel, better encouraged than discouraged.
> > 5. One sparrow, more or less, in an area where they already exist,
> > isn't
> > going to make any difference to the balance of nature.
> > Regards, Anne
> > (PS I did reply directly to the sender of the original message, but
> > we've just changed computers and I don't know if my message got sent.
> > If
> > not, I apologise. If you contact me again I'll be happy to give you
> > info
> > on rearing young birds.)
> > --
> > Atriplex Services-Environmental Consultants, Landscapers, Educators
> > and
> > Growers of Native Australian Plants.
> > http://www.riverland.net.au//~atriplex
> > Mailto:
> I entirely agree with Anne of Atriplex - the impulse to care for injured
> or orphaned creatures should never be dismissed lightly or callously.
> (Though these days I might draw the line at Indian Mynahs).
> The few birds I ever reared (SongThrush, Willy Wagtails) taught me a
> great deal about bird development - and how hard their parents work.
> Anthea Fleming in Melbourne