QUICK GUIDE TO AUSTRALIAN NATIVE ANIMALS AS PETS
Australian Animals are some of the cutest and most unique animals in the world, so it makes sense that people would want to keep them as pets. However being so unique they are not the easiest to take care of, and furthermore, some cannot be trained for in-home living. In this article, I take a look at some Australian animals you can have as pets and how high maintenance they are.
A large variety of Australian birds can be kept as pets legally without you needing and licence, for example, rosellas, doves, parrots, quails, budgerigars, cockatiels, galahs, lorikeets and finches. These birds must be bought from a pet store as it is illegal to take a native bird from the wild and make it your pet. It is quite a serious matter in fact; if you are caught the fine is over $200,000 and/or 2 years in prison.
Birds are very high maintenance pets, although it might not seem so. Sure they are usually kept in cages and can groom themselves to an extent, but being so intelligent they need a great deal of your time and attention. Also, you should think about getting more than one so they will not be lonely when you are away from home.
Depending on the bird you choose you will need to get the right size cage and be sure that they have time and enough space to fly outside of it as well. You will also need to do some research into the particular food and health concerns of the species.
REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS
For reptiles you will need to get a licence, and this will allow you to have certain native snakes, geckos, turtles, lizards, frogs and dragons (no not the ones that fly or breathe fire) as your pet. Again they must be bought from a reputable source that has bred them in captivity.
Reptiles are very relaxed animals, so you might think that they are low maintenance, but this will only be the case once you have the right equipment. Reptiles need the right temperature to maintain their body heat and this might mean you will need to buy expensive heating and lighting gear, and then see an increase in your electricity bill. Furthermore be sure to get an escape-proof enclosure. You do not want your snake going walkabout.
The Australian mammals you know and love are protected and only can be kept in zoos or sanctuaries by trained staff. This means no kangaroos, koalas, possums or quolls. However, you could get a licence to own a spinifex hopping mouse or a plains rat.
For all of these animals, it is recommended that you investigate the regulations and needs of the animals as much as possible. You could talk to a breeder, pet store owner or join one of the many bird, reptile, frog or mammal groups where you can meet people who know all the details and can give you the right advice.
Do you have a unique pet that needs special care? Share your comments below.