Six ways to be kind to animals

In celebration of National Be Kind to Animals Week which is observed from Saturday, 6 May to Friday, 12 May, the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife has issued six tips on how you can be kind to animals.

“Being kind to animals includes expressing compassion towards your own pets and our local wildlife,” said Yellowwood Park’s Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife’s (CROW) marketing and communications officer, Chandré De Bruyn.

“All animals require love, care and sympathy, but it is easier to give it to a pet than wildlife animals. This love can be expressed to pets by a simple cuddle, but with wildlife animals, we must minimise human exposure to avoid animals getting imprinted on people.”


With that in mind, CROW offers the following advice and tips on how to be kind to animals:


1. Slow down
Speeding in suburbs is a major problem for wildlife. “High animal dash zones are known as any area with a high concentration of bush, which results in a high number of wildlife animals. Baby animals are not street wise so they often are run over by speeding motorists.”

2. Do not litter
Wherever you are, try to keep the environment around you clean. “Picking up one piece of litter a day can save the animals that are being affected.”

3. Live in harmony with the wildlife around us
Encroaching urbanisation means there is less land for wildlife. “We need to learn how to co-exist with the animals that live around us. CROW has experienced an increase in the incidents of cruelty towards vervet monkeys. Whether it is a case of monkeys being shot, poisoned or run over, all types of animal cruelty acts are unacceptable.”

Read: CROW shares humane tips to keep monkeys away


4. Don’t feed wildlife animals
An animal can go up to two days without food or water. “So try to resist the urge to feed them. Never put food or water in the mouth of an injured animal. Please don’t feed birds any bread, breakfast cereal or milk as they are unable to digest it.”

5. Report suspected wildlife in distress
If you come across an animal in distress, report it immediately. “If you see an animal that is injured or that might be suffering call CROW on 031-462-1127 or contact your local SPCA.”

6. Avoid human interaction with wildlife
Try to avoid making animals dependant on you. “Human interaction with wild animals is discouraged. The reason for this is that we must minimise human exposure to avoid animals getting imprinted on people. To ensure wild animals have the best chance of survival when released, they must retain their natural fear of people.”



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Erin Hanekom

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