Feeding native animals

09 October, 2011

Wild! Amazing Animals in a Changing World: Exhibition Documentation: Melbourne Museum
Wild! Amazing Animals in a Changing World: Exhibition Documentation: Melbourne Museum
Image: Benjamin Healley
Source: Museum Victoria

Question: Should I feed the native animals I find in my back yard?

Answer: The short answer is no, you should not feed the native animals in your back yard, just in the same way that you cannot keep the native animals in your back yard as pets.

Feeding native animals, or wild animals, can have various effects on the animals. The things that we eat are not the same as the things that animals eat (and vice versa) and may cause health complications for the animals. Essentially, you are providing native or wild animals with junk food!

Human food may also change the behaviours and survival instincts of the animals - they may become dependent on the bread you throw out onto the lawn for them, rather than searching for their own food sources, and this can encourage pest-like behaviour. 

If you want to help native animals in your environment, consider planting a native garden which will not only attract the animals, but feed them and provide shelter too.

It should be realised that not feeding native animals is not restricted to your back yard; you should also follow these same guidelines for parks and beaches, anywhere in fact!

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