Roaming animals better off at home

2015-06-02 06:00
An otter found in Observatory was released back into the Liesbeek River on Monday.

An otter found in Observatory was released back into the Liesbeek River on Monday.

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“Looking after the animals is very important as it helps create a healthy environment for people.”

This is what the Friends of the Liesbeek believe. They work tirelessly to make sure that animals that stray from their natural habitat return there – at all costs.

Last week Monday, they helped two otters back into the water after they had wandered off from their usual homes. One of the otters was found in a house in Observatory and the second one was found in Retreat. This second one was found stuck between a wendy house and metal sheeting.

The otters were fairly stressed, but luckily they were not injured. The Retreat-visiting otter was released immediately, as he was quite agitated with the number of people around him.

The Observatory visitor was taken to the short-term wildlife care facility in Grassy Park, and was released on Monday with ­another otter from Salt River.

Though these animals might look friendly and harmless, people are urged not to come close to them as they have sharp teeth and they might bite if they feel threatened.

Friends of the Liesbeek manager Kyran Wright says it is very important that when people find these stray animals they keep away from them and call the relevant authorities so that they can be returned to their rightful homes.

“Animals wander out of their range at times and people must just make sure that they are in a safe place. Make sure you don’t come close to them as they might be harmful at times. We must help by making sure that they are returned to where they belong. This is not only important for them but for people as well. Animals are important for the food chain and most of all they keep the environment running so that people also enjoy a healthy living,” says Wright.

SPCA spokesperson Wanika Davids also emphasises the importance of making sure that wild animals go back to where they come from.

“Generally we try to release any animal that we rescue as close to where it comes from as possible. This is because any animal has its own territory and habitat. Animals also contribute to the local food chain within their own habitat, and so it’s important not to disturb nature.

“We share the city with fantastic wildlife, who also call this home, and so we should respect them and their habitats as much as we respect our own. They’re part of our natural environment, fauna and biodiversity,” she says.

V

Residents who find any unusual wildlife in their gardens or homes, that appear injured, displaced or distressed, should contact the Cape of Good Hope SPCA immediately on 021 700 4158/9 or after hours on 083 326 1604

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