Crabs on the beach, frogs by streams, or little birds in woodland… they are all cute and vulnerable. However, we should never take them home, no matter whether out of curiosity, love or desire for possession. Otherwise “love” may turn into harm for these animals.
Most people do not have knowledge of animals they plan to raise at home, e.g. their feeding behaviour. For example, some species of mudflat crabs feed on rotten leaves but not just dried leaves. This food can only be produced in the natural environment. In addition, we may not know enough of their living conditions. Take mudflat crabs as an example again: you may think that they need only sand and water. However, if you take home a fiddler crab, you can hardly create an intertidal zone that the crab requires.
On the other hand, it takes more than passion to take care for animals. A lot of time and energy is needed. Many people do not think thoroughly before they take animals home. Some animals, such as baby birds, have to be fed frequently each day and special feeding techniques are needed. Otherwise, the birds may have too little to eat, and soon die.
Even if you have sufficient knowledge and are ready to take care of animals, you may not take them home as you like. In nature, all living things are interdependent and in the worst case scenario the balance of an ecosystem will be upset if we are all accustomed to taking wild animals away from their natural habitats. Some local animals are also protected by the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170). It is an offence to take them home or take away any wild animals within country park areas.
Wild animals should stay in nature. If you find any injured or stray animals in the wild, do ask for help from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
Text | Cammy So