Wild Welfare recently took part in an online event discussing the issues facing animal sanctuaries and rescue centres across Asia.
The virtual event, hosted by the Asia For Animals (AfA) Sanctuaries and Rescue Centres Coalition (SARCC) was aimed at facilities taking in displaced, orphaned and injured animals for either lifetime care or for eventual rehabilitation and release. Sanctuaries and rescue centres across Asia take in thousands of animals every year including some of the world’s most critically endangered species.
Through Wild Welfare’s work in-country over the past ten years, the charity has identified the essential need for accessible information on animal welfare topics for facilities housing wild animals. The AfA team has also highlighted the lack of professional development opportunities for animal care staff as a challenge facing teams working in wild animal sanctuaries and rescue centres. To combat this, over the past three years, Wild Welfare has been developing and translating a significant range of resources and learning content for animal carers to utilise in order to learn more about animal welfare. This formed one of the discussion topics for the event.
Sarah Bonser-Blake, Wild Welfare’s Animal Welfare Field Manager gave one of the four talks during the virtual conference to review the importance of accessible animal welfare information and to share the learning opportunities within Wild Welfare’s bank of resources.
“Sanctuaries and rescue centres are dealing with immense conservation and welfare challenges. Having Sarah present at our virtual event on welfare improvement and staff professional development highlights the accessible, and language diverse programmes available, giving sanctuaries and rescue centres another tool in their belt to improving welfare in resource limited environments. We thank and applaud the continuous efforts made by Wild Welfare in this space.” Elliot Carr, AFA SARCC lead co-ordinator and event organiser.
Watched live by over 40 participants from seven countries across Asia and beyond, the presentations explored topics such as translocation of animals and decision-making tools in animal care facilities.
“The Wild Welfare presentation was great. I struggle with providing resources to my teams in Khmer, so it was great to see the enrichment guidelines in Khmer.” Event attendee.
At the end of the event, there was also a panel discussion which gave attendees the opportunity to ask specific questions, as well as talking through memorable moments such as animal release stories, and the portrayal of these rescues within the media. One of the key discussion points was the importance of adding context to photos where humans are interacting with animals, and the implications these photos can have on animal welfare on a wider scale.
Wild Welfare conducts project activities in captive wild animal facilities across Asia, working in countries such as Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. Last year the team took some of their learning content out to Laos and Vietnam to conduct in-person training events with a selection of animal care staff from sanctuaries and rescue centres.
The entire three and a half hour event is available to view online.
Notes to Editors
For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on firstname.lastname@example.org
Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare for captive wild animals. By uniting the world’s leading zoos, zoo associations and animal welfare organisations, we build trusting partnerships that help provide long-term solutions to critical wild animal welfare issues.
Our vision is to end the suffering of captive wild animals around the world and ensure full and sustainable protection is given to all animals in human care. Find out more at wildwelfare.org. Registered charity in England (no.1165941).