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PROJECT

Intro

This page is intended to explain our project step by step. You will find all the details regarding our goal and the means to reach it, our short, medium and long term.

Why the amazon?

Unfortunately, wildlife is threatened all over the world, so why focus our efforts on this forest ?

There are many potential answers to this question, but in our case it comes down to our experience. Our team have travelled and spent more time in animal rescue centres in this part of the world. Therefore, we have a better general knowledge of the environment but above all of the wildlife and how to take care of it.

The extraordinary biodiversity of the Amazon, which makes a symbol of it, appears to us like a treasure to protect. We have a particular understanding of the problems encountered locally, as well as for the fauna and flora of the rainforest.

Moreover, the 3 founding members can express themself easily in Spanish. This advantage avoids possible misunderstandings and the time/difficulty of learning a new language, but most of all will enable us to speak in our name right from the start and in all circumstances without having to use a translator.

Finally, as it is often the case when you have to make a choice, feelings come into the picture. We have always been attracted by this area of the world and appreciate the general mentality of the concerned countries. And most of all, we fell in love with the animal species living in this jungle. Behind the symbolic animals like the jaguar are hiding unique and unknown animals like the kinkajou.

Where do the animals come from?

To properly understand our field of action, we first have to talk about the origin of the animals which arrive in the centres. We are here miles away from the situation in Europe.

Most of the animals arrive thanks to a close collaboration with the police or thanks to the fieldwork. The detention of wild animals being illegal, we are fighting against traffic, the more or less decent domestication of certain persons, the profit-making detention (parrots in hotels, animal shows…), the selling for human consumption or simply the lack of information. At taking cognizance of a minor case, the diplomatic solution is de mise, by explaining the culprit the risks incurred (penal risks but also risks of injuries!), if it is not concluding like in most cases, the police can get involved. The police is also fighting for it on its side, and the animals seized at customs or found need a place to stay.

Indeed, the majority of the animals don’t come from people who found them hurt, these are mostly not animals suitable for wildlife.

For those who arrive injured, we treat them and turn them around before we release them, which still needs a lot or work. This has to do with a mentality question, the animal cause is not a priority in these countries, therefore our will to focus on education.

Two distinct parts

One of the basic idea of our project is to divide our centre in two distinct parts. The first part will exclusively be dedicated to rehabilitation for releasing the animals after their stay. The second part will be a sanctuary offering better life conditions to the non-releasable animals and will be dedicated to education.

We made this choice based on the sad assessment that a large proportion of the arrivals in rescue centres are animals which are not suitable candidates for returning to their natural environment. There are many reasons for this sad reality, below are a few examples; most of them resulting from an illegal detention:

- Mental instability: some animals were detained in indecent conditions. Being confined for many years in tiny cages or attached to ropes often leads to psychological troubles.

- Inhibition in relation to human beings:  an animal which is not afraid for human beings is an animal which might be captured again or even killed.

- Deficient physical characteristics: the wings of the parrots are regularly cut by their “owner” in order to prevent them to escape, the claws of wild cats pulled out for “safety” preventing them from being able to hunt, monkeys and wild cats have their canine teeth or filed or pulled out for the same reasons, making them unfit for a return to the wild.

- New behaviours: if the animal has a different behaviour among human beings than in the wild. For example a parrot which has been trained to sing or a tree dwelling animal which got used to living on the ground. These behaviors are not only passed on to fellow creatures but also endanger the animal.

- Predator not knowing how to hunt: despite of the efforts made, it can happen that some carnivores never learn to meet their needs by themselves.

Rehabilitation part

The part dedicated to rehabilitation will be the priority and the spearhead of the rescue centre. Animals in this part will be suitable for release. We want to proceed step by step with rehabilitation programs. A reduced number of cages but bigger than average will be used as a final step, offering more possibilities, for example to learn how to hunt to a predator or to form a group of animals. Releasing an animal is a long and complicated process, that’s why we want to put all the odds on our side. The cages must be bigger and reproduce the natural environment as good as possible. Moreover, the bigger the cage is, the more natural elements we can keep when we build it. Particular care will be devoted to the layout of the inside of the cage. It must be adapted to the species we want to put in and offer a maximum of possibilities for enrichment. It is also important to make sure that the cages blend in with the background. The cages must also be spaced from each other and far away from the “human’’ accommodation in order to avoid all kinds of sound nuisance. The animal/human contact will be reduced to the minimum in order to avoid a familiarisation to human presence or that the animals make a link between the presence of human beings and the presence of food.

The sanctuary and sensitization part

This part will be dedicated to animals unfit for release. It will have two main goals. The first one will be to offer these animals better life conditions to end their days. The second one will be to focus on education and raising awareness in order to improve the approach of humans to their wildlife.

Regarding the animals, we want to follow the same plan as for the rehabilitation part with the difference that the cages will be less spacious, closer from each other, and with a stronger human/animal contact. This is for ease. Of course we would like to offer them the same conditions as in the rehabilitation part but we have to give ourselves priorities and the final goal is not the same: we do not try to make them suitable for wildlife, which gives less restraint.

This part will also be dedicated to awareness raising, a major element of the project. For that we want to open this area to guided tours in order to act on different ways. The guided tour will reflect our convictions and will be a good introduction for the areas we want to create, each area being directed to a particular audience.

There are three main groups that we will aim to engage with:
- An area for children: during school visits, initiation to ecological problems and possible solutions via an educational program. Workshops to learn with having fun.  Provision of educational material…

- An area for the local population in general: explanation of the interests to preserve the wildlife and its habitat, examples of bad managements which did not end well…

- An area for tourists: explanation of the ecological impact during their trips. Teaching them to recognize the craft industry using animal products…

Extra information

Other areas are also planned, some dedicated to animals like the quarantine or the clinic, others dedicated to commodities and people’s comfort.

The quarantine area: it is necessary to place the newly arrived animals in quarantine. This area must be far away from the rest and tends to make sure that the animals have no parasites or diseases (especially contagious) before they are transferred to another area of the centre. The quarantine period generally corresponds to the time of their anti-parasite treatment. After that they can join other animals from their species without risk. A lot of precautions are taken in this area, the contacts with the outside are reduced to the minimum.

The clinic: the clinic must be easily cleanable and respect all hygiene conditions. We would like to create an annex to the clinic with little cages for the very weak animals or those which need regular care.

The living space: wanting the best for the animals is good but we must not forget the people who will work in the center. We must offer them pleasant facilities despite the difficult conditions imposed by the jungle. The essentials are showers, toilets, kitchen and a place to sleep. The showers with water heated gas bottles is a reliable system which work well, and the dry toilets are a conceivable option according to the difficulty of creating an evacuation. For the kitchen, gas cooking. Regarding the place to sleep, the dormitories are a practical and economical option, nevertheless, one or two private rooms would not be superfluous for couples or people who planned a long stay.

Another important aspect of the accommodation is relaxation.. After a day of work, it is important to have a place to be together and rest. A big table, benches, hammocks, a library, activities, table tennis, darts, boule , board games…) and also a place to get together by the fireplace will help to achieve this atmosphere. .

The living space must be far away from the cages in order not to bother the animals or get them used to human presence because of sound nuisances.

Considering the mild temperatures all year long, wood will be the main material of all these infrastructures excepting the clinic which has to be more closed towards the outside.

The destination of our project

The piece of land we are looking for will have to match a lot of criteria (or at least the best compromise) among those listed below :

- A border with a national park: or at least a protected area so that the released animals can benefit from the protection offered by the park. We can also consider a partnership with the park. With our common interests, we would be like an extension to the park, making the protected area even bigger.

- A certain distance from other animal centres  : even if unity is strength’ and if associating with another center would enable to focus more specifically on certain species, we think that it is preferable to offer help to an area which has no help yet.

- The presence of a river with a consequent size: if the watercourses are various, the advantage of a river with a higher flow come from what it offers. A past experience showed us that sand or big stones put at our disposal in a river can be used as construction material (on site and free). Such a river also offers options regarding drinking water or an electricity auto production system.

- The possibility to buy later surrounding pieces of land, still with the goal of extending the protected area and having the option of limiting the initial investment for the land.

- A maximum security: certain areas of the jungle, regardless the country, are still famous for their insecurity. As we intend to function with the help of volunteers, the least we can offer is that they can visit us without fear. 

The development of the charity

Getting people to know us and extend our network is fundamental for the accomplishment of our objectives, and also to find partners and new members. The number of members gives more weight to a charity and enables it to move on. To attract people to our cause, various tools are at our disposal, the most important one being the internet.  That is why we took a special care in the creation of our website, and we still have many ideas to make it more complete. Our website will be our basis, any other communication will refer to it or mention it. We think that we also must work a lot with social networks, very practical and with a future. The creation of leaflets or magazines is also a good way to inform people. Another way of extending our network would be a partnership with some other organizations or charities. If we find a common interest or common convictions, forming an alliance is a good option.

We also count on the organization of events and sales of promotional items in order to touch new people and make the charity live. But what works best is word of mouth: just talking about our charity is helping us!!

The creation of a working group around the project is another important element. Of course any help or idea is always appreciated, but having people ready to get involved in the project on a long term basis is essential and makes the charity live. For that, we are counting on our seriousness and our good mood to make people feel like helping us.


The development of the project

Before the purchase of the piece of land

The location of our project is a decision we do not want to take lightly because the success of our project is very much depending on it.

We are making research from France on the possible destinations, taking into account the above mentioned criteria in order to make our trips there more efficient.

To immerse ourselves in the targeted area will enable us to complete our research with information only available on location  and to confirm what  we already know. Moreover, we will use our presence in the Amazon to take part in similar projects in order to acquire more experience and knowledge in the local wildlife but also in the development and management of an animal rescue centre. We also check the governmental arrangements/subsidies regarding the setting up of a project like ours.

After the purchase of the piece of land

When the purchase of the piece of land is done, the real work can start. We also want to plant fruit trees as soon as possible near the living space but especially spread all over the land in order to help the future releases. It is also interesting to start studying the wildlife of our part of the jungle. For that, research from cage traps or photo traps are good indicators.

There is according to the country basic infrastructure to have to be able to host animals legally, our goal being to get the permission fast but without skipping steps. When all the elements are assembled, we can start working on the rehabilitation and sensitisation and also on the expansion and improvement of our centre.


The financial side

The best will in the world is unfortunately not sufficient to set up the project, the financing is a priority issue and the research of funds must be well organised and be in line with the status of progression of the project. The time spent before really starting to work in the Amazon must also be used to build healthy financial foundations.

The main financial resource is the donation done by a private individual, through a membership or a donation of any kind. There is strength in numbers, that’s why extending our network is essential. We propose a membership for 25 € per year. The number of members is not only giving weight to the charity, it’s a real financial resource, for only 2 € per month. We trust we can win a maximum of people over our cause. Again, everything will depend on the quality of our work and also on the word of mouth. The help of private individuals is very important throughout the project but mostly at the beginning. The more concrete the project will be, the more financing options we will have so it is a vital factor for its good start and progression.

We also want to develop partnerships with companies which feel concerned with the protection of animal biodiversity, in the form of sponsorship or patronage. We also want to get closer to charities which could help us with our project.

We plan to create a little shop where we will sell by-products, T-shirts, postcards, animal accessories (feeding trough, nest boxes…)

The organisation of events (lotto, poker, boules…) will not only increase our recognition, it will also enable us to increase our capital.

When our project is set up, the majority of the options will be open. We can put in place the collaboration with volunteers. The principle of voluntary participation is a bit unknown but a lot of projects use it, almost all those which are not based in the West, because public help does not exist. The volunteer helps the project by working in the center and gives a weekly amount of money in exchange of the accommodation, food… This financial participation is necessary for the progress of the project but also enables an unforgettable experience by being in contact with wild animals lost in the jungle.  The financial participation asked by projects working with volunteers is extremely variable, and can be outrageously high, particularly in Africa. Some projects provide for their needs only with this system.

Private subsidies are also an interesting resource which has to be developed. This consists in presenting a detailed project and the costs to carry it out in order to ask a company or charity to finance it partially or totally. For example, we are willing to build a big birdcage: this means we have to present (on top of all general information about our project) a detailed plan of the cage with its explanations and justifications, the detail of all necessary materials and its price. The more complete the file is, the more chances we have to get a positive answer.

In a word, the more the project progresses, the more diversified our action can be, and the easier it gets to target organisms or charities specialised in the protection of a species of a group of species for example.


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