conservation

Poachers are just a symptom of the toxic problem.

So many of our programs have hired on ex-poachers as conservationists. Typically poachers don't hate animals, they just love their families more. The illegal pet trade, palm oil plantations, illegal bush meat trade and urban development all lead to marginalised people turning to poaching to feed themselves, their families and sometimes their addictions. Poachers are just a symptom of a much bigger problem that we must address. We can address it by supporting locally lead conservation and animal welfare programs who hire people in their local communities and provide meaningful work. Care2 just highlighted an amazing conservation program that hired an ex poacher to help hornbills.

Next time you think about poaching and how horrific it is, continue thinking that BUT think about why it exists. It exists because of poverty so the best way to stop poaching at it’s source? Invest in the community, invest in people.

Introducing bite sized animal volunteer experiences!

We now have 1 week programs available!

You spoke, we listened! While we would love to all have months and months every year to go volunteer with animals, sometimes that just isn't feasible. Our jobs, families and lives are jam packed already. So what can we do to help even more people help animals: Introducing 1 Week Experiences! 

Over the next few days we will be rolling out new prices for our partners that can take volunteers for 1 week experiences. It won't be all of our programs, some have so much training that 7 days is just not enough to get the full experience, but there will be quite a few that welcome shorter term volunteers. 

This not only means a smaller investment of time, it means a smaller investment in fees. We won't be cutting any corners, the programs still receive donations, you still get travel insurance, your in-country travel is still carbon balanced and you still get to have one of the most amazing trips of a lifetime! Hopefully these amazing experiences will fit into your life just a little better. 

What programs will you be able to take part in for one week? Sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica, flying fox rehabilitation in Australia, dog rescue in Mexico, elephant recuperation in Thailand, baboon care in Southern Africa and many more! Check out the website and take a look!

Remember, we also run short expeditions once a year for those who want to volunteer on a program in a group! In 2019 we are going to Guatemala to volunteer at a wildlife centre. Our volunteer coordinator will be taking people to northern Guatemala so they can safely and humanely volunteer with toucans, wild boars, monkeys and more! No experience is required- all the training is on the ground. 10 days in Guatemala, what a way to live your dreams!

Same trip, different perspectives...

We love hearing from our alumni. Reading their blogs, seeing their pictures, chatting over the shared experiences… it’s all wonderful. It’s so special to see adventures through the eyes of different people, we get to know these places, these people, these experiences even more. But what happens when everyone writes about the same thing? When we lead a group of women to The Great Rift Valley for giraffe conservation and everyone writes about cape buffalo?

Well… it must take a very special event, right? You be the judge!

Nora’s account of Expedition Kenya: https://pinkpangea.com/…/mother-daughter-bonding-rampaging…/

Lauren’s account of Expedition Kenya: https://justinpluslauren.com/my-near-death-experience-in-k…/

Marilyn’s account of account of Expedition Kenya: https://50plusworld.com/meeting-the-beast-even-lions-wont-…/

Happy reading!

Confronting the Aftermath of Animal Trafficking in Costa Rica.

When you google ocelot, this is what comes up:

Can you keep an ocelot as a pet?

Is it legal to have an ocelot as a pet?

Are ocelots dangerous pets?

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Animal trafficking is alive and well in the Americas. It's disturbing how these animals are captured. It's harrowing to see how they are illegally trafficked from the country. It's heartbreaking to see what their lives become when they are stolen from the wild and live as unhappy pets in small enclosures. 

This is an animal sanctuary we recently visited in Costa Rica. While sanctuaries are not perfect (only the wild is), it did a pretty damn good job explaining to people why these animals couldn't be realised back into their forest homes. Spoiler alert: humans. When these animals are trafficked sometimes their teeth are ripped out without anaesthetic, sometimes they are declawed without anaesthetic, sometimes they are just taken so young they never had a chance to learn how to be wild. They can't hunt, socialise, den or even really cat. 

Humanities obsession with owning things and our entitlement over the natural world has spelled often a life of torture and psychosis for the animals who survive animal trafficking. 

If you love animals, keep them in the wild. Ocelots are not for you, no matter how cute you think they are. 

While this enclosure is pretty good habitat for this cat, it pales in comparison to the life she would have if she was in the wild.

While this enclosure is pretty good habitat for this cat, it pales in comparison to the life she would have if she was in the wild.

Australian Wildlife

Australia Day brings lots of questions and lots of concerns. What does reconciliation look like? What does conservation look like? What does honouring the future look like when we don't want to forget the past? One thing that can bring us all together is the special and endemic species and ecosystems of Australia. They need to be protected- from us humans. 

Australia doesn't just have cute animals, it has important and unique animals that aren't found anywhere else on Earth. It has animals that need to be protected while communities are invested in and protected. Visiting Australia means learning more about their natural and historical contexts to understand better what needs to be protected and how. It means understanding there aren't easy answers.

We all share this planet, the natural world IS where we live. Volunteering can help us share- with each other and the animals, just a little better. 

When you think about visiting Australia consider volunteering with it's remarkable wildlife. They need you and the story when you come back home is a story that needs to be told.