Australia’s threatened species commissioner has opened a debate about whether kangaroos, wombats and koalas belong in the nation’s living rooms and back gardens. Gregory Andrews, a government spokesman, said Australians should be allowed to domesticate some native animals rather than keeping species such as dogs, rabbits and cats. He said it would be “patriotic” for families to take in animals that “define who we are as a nation”. But the proposal prompted a backlash from animal right groups that warned that creatures such as kangaroos will “trash” houses. Most states in Australia allow various native birds, reptiles and amphibians such as budgerigars, snakes and frogs to be kept domestically, though a license is sometimes required. But it is mostly illegal to keep most mammals, including some of the country’s bestknown creatures such as kangaroos, wallabies and koalas. Wildlife and animal rights groups such as the RSPCA have largely rejected calls to allow native animals as pets.