Wildlife rescue group FAWNA is urging people to follow manufacturer’s instructions when using glue traps designed to catch insects and small vermin after a kookaburra died as a result of becoming caught in one.
These devices, which are intended for indoor use, pose a threat to native species when they are used outdoors and often lead to the death of animals that come into contact with them.
“We would like to put out a public warning about the importance of using any chemical compounds or gadgets according to the manufacturer’s directions,” president of FAWNA NSW, Meredith Ryan, said.
“People use them outdoors and FAWNA ends up getting small birds and microbats (that have become) caught in them.”
In this instance, a kookaburra became stuck in a glue trap intended to catch rats and mice after a woman in Wauchope placed the device outdoors.
Local FAWNA rescuers Jane Duxberry and Susanne Scheuter treated the bird but were unable to save it.
“The kookaburra had adhesive on its wings, upper body and tail,” Ms Duxberry said.
“After the first wash we realised that the adhesive was not going to come off very easily.”
After further investigation revealed baby oil had successfully been used to remove adhesive from birds in the past, the pair bathed the kookaburra in the substance and found that it worked quite well.
They repeated the procedure the next day and succeeded in removing the glue from the bird’s feathers, before caging it in order to give it time to redevelop its natural waterproofing.
After initial signs suggested the kookaburra was on its way to recovery, the pair were disappointed to find it dead in the aviary the next morning.
Ms Ryan said that such outcomes are unfortunately all too common, as native wildlife are not equipped to deal with the powerful and often poisonous chemicals used in these devices.
“Entrapment is usually fatal to the creature caught,” she said.
“That’s why it’s so important not to use them outdoors.”
To report any sick or injured native wildlife to FAWNA, call 6581 4141.