DAY 126: HELP…WHICH OF THESE WAYS IS BEST TO HELP WILD ANIMALS?
HOW CAN I BEST HELP WILD ANIMALS?
FIRST…. A REMINDER OF THE THE CRITERIA
1) I want to help wild animals that I can physically touch – and help immediately.Tigers are too rare, elephants too big and hippos too dangerous.
2) I want to work with a small organisation (or small part of a bigger organisation) so I can actually make a hands-on difference. No point shaking a charity pot on Oxford Street
3) I want to go somewhere fairly wild / dramatic. Poodles in Peckham are out, panthers in pakistan may be better.
SOME OPTIONS THAT HAVE COME UP:
Rescuing wildlife in India
Who: wildlifeSOS http://www.wildlifesos.org/rescue A really nice, small, charismatic organisation that helps wild animals in distress all over the country run by two great people.
What do they do?: Travel all over India responding to distress calls for elephants, cobras, monkeys, dogs, you name it. They even work to fight wildlife crime.
Pros: Small, dramatic, hands on, sounds like I could actively help.
Cons:- I just came back from India. Should I really go again? Do you care? Do you want to hear about somewhere new??
Rescuing Sloths in Brazil
Who: A woman in Brazil who rescues and rehabilitates sloths in danger.
What do they do?: Rescues Sloths!! The slowest, weirdest, most biblically-slandered, cutest creatures in the jungle! Her video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGdGr8hWXlo
Pro: Sloths are slow so I can probably catch them. They make good photos because their eyes sort of look in the wrong direction. I want one. Working with an individual – slightly crazy sounding – woman is good to learn how to make a difference on your own.
Con: How many sloths am I actually going to see in distress? Will I fall asleep trying to catch them?
Working with Turtles in Greece
Who: Ketalios Group http://www.kateliosgroup.org/kefalonia/
What do they do?: Helping conserve, protect and rescue the turtles in Kefalonia, an island west of mainland Greece.
Pro: Apparently they are small and fairly physical (even confrontational with their enemies). A fight might be interesting.
Con: More conservation than rescue? Oh crap, it’s probably the wrong time of year. I think WSPA are also working on this…will look into as well. From what I have seen turtles get a shit ride.
Helping wild dogs in South Africa
Who: Painted Dog UK http://www.painteddog.co.uk/index.asp
What do they do?: A charity, amongst others, helping the quickly dwindling population of this incredibly large-eard species: education, conservation, tagging, rescue..
Pro: A nice link to the work I have done with dogs. In some areas these are close to extinction and their biggest threat – man. What a surprise. They need help!
Con:Bloody scary. Got a bad press recently for eating a child that fell into a zoo. No PR whizzkid can get them out of that. These really are WILD. But since when can we criticise a wild animal for wanting to kill a foreign being? What can I do to help? Most of the work centres around conservation. I wonder if I can make a difference?
Working with Wildlife Police in UK
Who: WSPA and the UK POLICE http://www.wspa.org.uk/wspaswork/illegal_wildlife_trade/london_animal_police.aspx
What: WSPA have teamed up with the MET Police to try and clamp down on wildlife crime in the UK – including importing illegal wildlife and crime based here in UK. I may be able to help, document and travel with them.
Pro: Unusual, unpredictable, interesting. I’m sure they sell baboon bits somewhere here in Hackney.
Con: Can I actually do anything to help? Or will I just be making cups of tea for the chief superintendent in charge of monkey-meat?
Saving animals in Thailand
Who: Wildlife Friends Thailand http://www.wfft.org/about-wfft/
What: Great organisation helping all sorts of wild animals in distress.
Pro: Thailand – yippee!
Con: Too big and organised? Can I do any more than make tea?
Who: I have no idea! More work to be done but there are groups out there.
What: Going out to see and helping to disentangle whales. Like it says on the tin.
Pro: My first ‘awakening’ of animal compassion was when I saw a whale being killed on TV as a kid. I’d love to help.
Con: How the *&*@ am I going to save a whale? Do I need a year of training?
Or…forgetting the whole ‘wild animal’ thing and making the WHOLE book just about dogs. How many dogs can one man save in one year?
So instead of dividing the book into three (domestic animals / wild animals / farm animals) concentrating instead on what I know best.
Topics I could cover:
Puppy farming in Wales ( I have some leads)
Dog meat trade in Asia
Wild dogs in Africa (as above)
Dogs in Georgia (I have a great tip off about a woman going it alone like Avis)
THOUGHTS PLEASE!!!! thank you!