Extreme heat may lead to stressed wildlife

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CANBERRANS are encouraged not to approach native animals as high temperatures may lead to heat stress, according to conservator for flora and fauna Ian Walker. 

With predictions of severe heatwave conditions, Mr Walker says it can be stressful for wildlife so it is important to avoid approaching them and unwittingly causing them additional stress or putting humans in harm’s way. 

“You can also help by keeping your pets inside or on a lead to avoid contact with animals on the ground or in a weakened state during this time,” Mr Walker says.

“Animals tend to avoid movement during exceptionally hot weather. You may see birds and flying foxes (fruit bats) on the lower branches or on the ground under trees to try and avoid heat higher in the canopy.

“It is particularly important not to handle bats as they can carry diseases harmful to humans.

“If people are bitten or scratched inadvertently by a bat, or other animals, medical advice should be sought.”

Wildlife that is injured or trapped (rather than just heat stressed) can be reported via Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or ACT Wildlife on 0432 300033.

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