What would you do if you came upon an online posting selling an animal? Although you might wonder why someone would buy instead of adopt, you probably would not give it much thought, unless the animal being sold was obviously wild and illegal to sell. This is exactly what happened recently in Sydney, Australia.
A 26-year-old man is facing charges after he allegedly attempted to sell a baby wallaby on Facebook with offenses including possession, importation, and selling of protected wildlife. By the time Western Australia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife was made aware, reports showed bids for the wallaby as high as AUS $10,000. The man may not have been caught had it not been for the vigilance of local residents.
“The community outrage generated by this incident shows that people really care about protecting our native wildlife,” said Wildlife Officer Peter Carstairs to national broadcaster ABC.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the world is dealing with an unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade. Crimes of wildlife and animal parts trafficking include animal species being captured to be sold as pets and elephants poached for ivory. Besides it being cruel to cage a wild animal, it is extremely difficult to care for them and keeping them as pets poses a risk to your health and safety, due to its natural animal instincts and the possible spread of disease.
“It is illegal to sell or possess any part of a native animal in Western Australia unless you have a wildlife license. There is a black market trade in Australian wildlife and it is a practice that must be stopped,” said Carstairs.
If you see wild animals being sold online, trafficked, or hear of local sales, voice your concern to the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service, contact an animal rescue hotline, or call your local animal control department to make a report.
Image Source: Parks and Wildlife Department/AFP/Getty Images