Fire and flood wreaked havoc around the world in September. Seemingly endless hectares of Greece were gutted by flames, and in Africa, freak flash floods left people and animals disorientated and displaced. In the midst of these disasters, individual animals fought to survive battles of their own – trafficked, orphaned or injured due to rampant illegal activity.
In the face of rising wildlife challenges, we continually re-strategize and enhance our efforts to reach animals in some of the most treacherous situations, and dangerous places, on the planet. Here is how our donors’ support helped us do just this in September.
Greece, Greater Athens
Wild animals back in peril as Greece burns again
In September, firefighters in Greece continued to battle blazes that could not be contained as flames re-erupted after July’s rampant wildfires.
Fueled by gale-force winds and dry summer conditions, the fires devoured vast swathes of the country, destroying at least 77,000 hectares (190,000 acres) of land and eating into Mount Parnitha’s crucial green-belt national park.
Our team from ANIMA (Wildlife Rehabilitation Association) stayed on the ground, risking everything to reach wild animals trapped, terrified, and burnt. Your support during this time paid for life-saving rescue missions into and out of disaster zones, enabling our team to save animal lives in the nick of time and provide critical care to wild and domestic animals, and even livestock. Every life counts.
Thank you for your compassion during this time of tragedy. Your support made a difference.
Credit: Despina Theodosiadou
South Africa, Gansbaai
Fighting to save dwindling African penguin populations
Once abundant along their native coast of Southern Africa, the African penguin has declined to just 2% of its original population size, placing it on the brink of demise. The species is being obliterated by human activity including overfishing, which robs marine animals of their food sources.
In a horrific side-effect of this, hungry seals turn on penguins, attacking them in attempts to reach the semi-digested fish in their bellies. Penguins succumb to these brutal injuries, unless they are rescued in time by our partner, the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS). APSS saves injured, stranded and ailing penguins, nursing them back to health and releasing them back to Dyer Island to help bolster penguin numbers.
In September, we asked for your support in helping refurbish and repair the sanctuary’s desalination plant, critical to providing life-saving fresh water to penguins. You responded generously, and your support is giving hope to future generations of endangered African penguins.
South Africa, Hoedspruit
Supporting elephant calves orphaned by poaching
Some progress is being made in stopping poachers and protecting wild animals – but the reality is that criminals are ever smarter and thus still slip through the cracks. In Africa, where rampant poaching feeds the insatiable Asian market, elephants are at particular risk for their ivory. And, when a mother is slaughtered, it is a death sentence for her calf too, who will succumb to starvation or predators if it is not rescued.
In September, we told you about our partner, Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD), an elephant orphanage which cares for and rehabilitates calves, and ensures their ultimate introduction into a welcoming herd. You opened your heart to these vulnerable orphans, and through your support, we are helping HERD keep their calves fed – with specialized milk formula critical to their survival and growth – for the next three months.
Supporting injured pangolins and other wild animals saved from brutal bushmeat markets
A growing appetite for “bushmeat” in Nigeria is seeing hundreds of thousands of animals – many of them endangered – slaughtered to feed the demand for “exotic” meat.
Primates, bushbuck, turtles and critically endangered pangolins are just some of the species strung up at markets, often alive, and then brutally killed when they are purchased for the pot. We work with Greenfingers Wildlife Conservation Initiative (GWCI) in Lekki which ventures into these places of horror to confiscate terrified, injured animals.
Traumatized, injured and often orphaned, most – like critically endangered pangolins – need extensive long-term care. Through your support in September, we were able to help our partner support 30 rescued animals for three months, giving them a second chance at life. Thank you for caring for animals in some of the worst places in the world for wildlife.
Rescued wildlife loses their home as our partner sanctuary floods
Later in September, flash floods in Lagos destroyed parts of the Greenfingers Wildlife Conservation Initiative (GWCI) sanctuary, and pangolins and other rescued wild animals lost the only safe shelter they had ever known. Pangolins are especially susceptible to stress, and we knew we had to help rebuild right away.
We reached out to you, and thanks to your generous response, we have been able to help fund the rebuilding of damaged structures and replace lost food, fresh water and medicine. We are deeply grateful for your support.
Follow us on social for these stories and more…
WATCH: wonderful news! Remember Electra the pangolin, who was severely injured by an electrified farm fence in South Africa? She has recovered superbly – and has been released!
WATCH: your support is helping us restore forests in Kenya! To do it, we are using clever little seedballs – see exactly what a seedball is and how it works its magic to restore flattened forests.
From the News Desk
At ASI, we strive to stay abreast of the latest wildlife conservation news so we can keep you informed on the most critical issues surrounding animals today.
Gabon takes down international ivory trafficking network. Read more.
UK government orders removal of animal cruelty content from social media. Read more.
‘Alarming’ scale of marine sand dredging laid bare by new data platform. Read more.
‘Catastrophic’ loss: huge colonies of emperor penguins saw no chicks survive last year as sea ice disappears. Read more.
It is true that the state of our planet seems bleak, but that is why it is more important than ever to support dedicated, direct efforts to preserve wild animals and their habitats. Thank you for helping us continue our work for our world’s fragile fauna and flora in September.
Saving animals and the planet,
Animal Survival International
Banner credit: Dejan Radic