• Day 113: Help needed!

    Jan 8th


    Please help me decide where to go next! Answers on a postcard!

    Thank you to all of you that gave me some lovely advice on my last blog post.

    I’ve decided to listen to both Leo and my heart (and to all of you brilliant readers who seem to enjoy my rather embarassing honesty)  – the way forward is to keep going as I am, responding directly but sometimes clumsily,  but also to find some unusual and colourful situations where I can try and make a difference. An honest and personal story but one with a real drama.

    I will be going soon to do some final work on the poor dogs in the Phillipines dog-meat trade  (if all goes to plan) but in the meantime I am going to try and find a great story about helping wild animals. The problem is…


    And…which animals?

    And how do I help?

    Saving Brazilian wildlife

    I thought perhaps Brazil – partly because I love that country, partly because I have a lot of brazilian friends, but when I googled ‘wild animal rescue Brazil’ I got this.

    Does this creature need saving?

    Does this creature need saving?

    My point is not to shock you or even pass comment on the close relationship between man and the wild but purely to show you that finding a story aint that easy.

    I applied some strict criteria to see if this might make a good story.

    1) does this creature need help?


    2) Will saving it make a dramatic story?


    3) Will anyone care?


    I had a marginal fail.

    Can I be as heroic as this man?

    Can I be as heroic as this man?


    What I need is a story and a place that fulfills the following:

    1) A location where wild animals are suffering either directly or indirectly at the hands of humans

    (I want to go somewhere fairly dramatic and different enough from the UK that makes a strong contrast. But preferably somewhere they can understand English)


    2) An organisation or set of individuals who or small enough in number that I can make a meaningful difference

    (There is NO point me working with a large organisation where I’ll be bound by rules and regs and end up filing the accounts. Also, I want to go somewhere)


    3) A situation where I can physically get involved and save lives.

    (As much as I would like to save whales or gorillas or elephants the chance that I can do so with my own hands is limited. I need to pick my battles…)



    Examples might include (although these are TOTALLY fictitious)

    – A man in the Amazon who single handedly catches and rehomes snakes that are being hunted to extinction

    – A couple in Ethiopia who dedicate their lives to … er… saving Ostriches from being hit by…er…trucks.

    – A small fella in the fillipines who finds freshwater frogs and saves then from the fish-flu.

    – You get my drift.

    Thoughts please!!!!






    Previous Post:

    Next Post:

    10 Responses to “Day 113: Help needed!”

    1. Martin, I’m not sure if the following meets your criteria but they are all small groups and seem to be in desperate need of hands-on volunteers when it comes to working directly with the animals they save. In the meantime, I will keep my eyes open for something that may be more of what you’re after.

      https://www.facebook.com/rudozemstreetdogrescue (Bulgaria)


      https://www.facebook.com/colonelangels (Bulgaria)

      https://www.facebook.com/WildlifeFriendsFoundation (Thailand)

      https://www.facebook.com/BaliDogAdoptionRehabilitationCentre (Australian founder but all rescue work is in Bali)

      It’s like you said, maybe just follow your heart and see where it takes you. The big story you’re after may well crop up along the way.


    2. Thank you Serena, I will look at these carefully and am grateful for hte suggestions!

    3. From the previous links in my comment, the first three links are for strays/street dogs. The Thai link seems to be wild animals so may be more suitable for the next leg of your journey. The Bali link is mostly strays but they have also rescued other species and have recently started building an animal sanctuary.

    4. Agree with everything everyone has said about the draw of your project being that it is a genuine voice, perhaps more so for being one man against the world. And that voice appeals to me, I love your style of writing, humorous but not avoiding the shit that happens. I want to read your books because of that.

      As to ideas, something that often crosses my mind when I see the coverage of fighting everywhere is what happens to the animals in these places? Is anyone helping the animals in war zones? When people’s lives are destroyed, what happens to their animals? Or the wild animals caught up in it? Is this important?!?!

    5. God, yes, good point. What does happen to the animals in war zones? It’s a tricky one isn’t it, because no doubt the suffering is horrendous but it will always be overshadowed in so many people’s minds by the horrendous suffering to humans. and going in to a warzone and rescuing a dog when humans are dying would be deeply controversial…

    6. http://www.animalsasia.org brilliant organisation who cover all sorts of dramatic stuff, bile bears etc, know a vet nurse who worked for them and her stories were fascinating and heartbreaking. could lead anywhere.

    7. following on from what nicky said, there is an organisation that helps animals out in disaster zones, which is also controversial, not sure of their name but they do exist. as for war zones, please don’t get killed doing this, then you would be of no use to any of these animals. 🙂

    8. you could also contact world wide veterinary service, at http://www.wvs.org/uk they work globally and do all sorts

    9. Hi Mar†in,

      I love your photos. The Prince who needs a heart isn’t Rosie’s dog Prince I hope.

      You might ask Laurie Marks of Cheetah Conserva†ion about Namibia – she will know what’s happening to elephants in the North of the country. Or you could ask Ian Redmond about bonobos that need help. Both are on my facebook page.

      I don’t think it’s controversial to rescue an animal from a war zone despite the human suffering. Everyone knows that rescuing humans is more complicated – when Rwanda was decimated people still wanted to help the gorillas and were surprised and overjoyed that they managed to survive. This is Ian Redmond’s area of expertise (great apes) and he’s very friendly so have a word with him. I’m sure he’ll have a useful suggestion. He worked with Dian Fossey. He may also know about elephants at risk from poachers.

      Ashley Leiman runs the orangutan rescue with Birute Galdicus (spelling?) in Kalimantan Borneo and they may be grateful for your help.

      I know a young man who worked for 3 months at a dog rescue in Sri Lanka and can ask him what is going on there if that interests you. I think what you’re doing is quite wonderful. Wish I could do something similar.

      If I were you I’d go for the elephants because although I’m a cat lover I was totally won over to their cause by the documentary about the death of Echo in the Massai Mara. She died of natural causes but the compassion eles show to their kin moved me to the depths of my soul.

      The other thing which concerns me greatly is what is going on in the US with wolves. The Department of Fish and Wildlife has been systematically killing them despite their duty of care. A new head of department has been appointed now who hopefully is more compassionate than the awful guy who has set this massacre in motion and is leaving bad laws as his legacy but the situation is dire thanks to farmers and hunters who would like to kill off our wildlife altogether as if they were vermin.

      In the summer here in England the cull of badgers will also be up for reassessment.

    10. thank you for the really informative post Elisabeth!

      A lot of food for thought.

      Yes I have thought a fair bit about ele’s but always wonder what can I actually do??? But everyone is telling me to get involved so maybe I should! Please do keep in touch, it sounds like you know an awful lot. Perhaps we could have a phone chat some time? Drop me an email on martinusborne@mac.com if you think we could. I am back in a week.

    Leave a Reply