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Whyalla’s wildlife wildside

News release
09 November 2016

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula officers are reminding people to keep respectful distances and behave peacefully when encountering wildlife.

Newly-appointed Natural Resources Officers Elisa Launer and Barbara Murphy have responded to seven wildlife incidents within the last few weeks in the Whyalla area.

“We are fortunate to share a city with such diverse Australian wildlife and we regularly see pelicans visiting the foreshore and dolphins in the near coastal waters,” Ms Launer said.

“Unfortunately, not all wildlife encounters end happily. We encourage people to contact us if they are concerned about the welfare of sick or injured wildlife, or if they come across dead marine mammals washed up on the beach.

“In the last few weeks we’ve responded to calls about reptiles, pelicans, seals, an echidna, a little penguin and a black swan.”

Sick or injured wildlife are assessed by a vet and either cared for by licensed wildlife rescuers or humanely euthanised.

Depending on the situation, dead marine mammals may be collected and sent to the South Australian Museum for necropsy, data collection or specimens.

Ms Murphy said residents were thrilled to discover a seal resting on the beach near the caravan park recently.

“The residents observed the Long-nosed fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) from a safe distance of 30 metres and took photos before the seal returned to sea with the outgoing tide,” she said.

“Encountering native animals in our city is exhilarating and helps us form positive attitudes toward conservation.

The downside is we can easily forget native animals are wild when we encounter them in urban environments.

“When experiencing native wildlife we need to consider the welfare of the animal and never try to approach, touch, feed or make a pet out of a wild animal.”

To learn more about the wildlife of Whyalla visit: www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep or contact Elise Launer, 0488 000 481, or Barbara Murphy, 0427 188 546.

More information

Communications and Engagement Officer

8688 3111

dewnr.nrepadmin@sa.gov.au