WRRT Rescues 1,277 Animals Last Quarter

The 24-hour Wildlife Alliance Wildlife Rescue Hotline has proved to be an extremely successful way of obtaining information regarding the illegal wildlife trade. The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) was recently tipped off by an informant to inspect the Phsa Samaki Markets in Phnom Penh. There, from a single unattended stall, the team seized two slow lorises, a long-tailed macaque, a blossom-headed parakeet, two hill mynas, two white-vented mynas, eight common mynas, two black-collared starlings, one red collared dove and an Asian koel. Unfortunately, the traders escaped once they saw the team arriving, but the 20 rescued animals were taken to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center. Less than a week later, the team was called to Bantheay Meanchey Province where local authorities had intercepted a shipment of a large quantity of live turtles. The team assisted the local authorities in prosecuting the wildlife trader for transporting 16 yellow-headed temple turtles, 60 box turtles and 20 black marsh turtles. The WRRT took the turtles to the Forestry Administration offices to be cared for overnight and released them the following day into protected natural habitats. These rescues are encouraging signs of the team’s efforts to educate and motivate provincial Forestry Administration offices to act on wildlife crime and to utilize the team’s wildlife crime hotline. Building capacity and providing support to local government offices is instrumental to creating lasting change and ensuring that wildlife trafficking is being tackled at every level.

2016-07-28 - WRRT - 96 turtles seized rescued - Bantheay Meanchey Province.jpg

Last quarter, the team rescued 1,277 animals and the hotline received 594 phone calls from Wildlife Alliance’s informant network, Forestry Administration offices requiring WRRT’s assistance, and from the public. Calls from the public come from both Cambodian citizens and from foreign visitors with information regarding a wildlife crime or the donation of an animal. The hotline is well advertised throughout the country and proves to be a very effective method of receiving information. Help the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team continue to rescue thousands of animals from the wildlife trade by making a donation today!

The WRRT is a Forestry Administration law enforcement unit led by the Forestry Administration, in cooperation with the Military Police, with technical and financial support from Wildlife Alliance.

#GivingTuesday is Less Than Two Weeks Away

© Peter yuen

© Peter yuen

#GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving, is fast approaching! Following the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the holiday season by encouraging people to donate to important causes (like ending the wildlife trade!). Wildlife trafficking is a severe and complex problem that does not have a simple solution. Wildlife Alliance has developed a holistic, multifaceted, and effective approach to combat the problem from all sides. It starts with protecting habitat from deforestation and poachers. Our rangers protect nearly 2 million acres of one of Southeast Asia’s largest contiguous rainforests in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, ensuring that animals have a safe and intact habitat. We also rescue trafficked animals from national and transnational wildlife smugglers. We investigate illegal trade networks, collect evidence, apprehend traffickers and followup on cases to ensure justice is served and traders are appropriately sentenced. To date, we have rescued over 62,000 animals, and apprehended over 3,230 traders. Since many of the animals that we rescue are not healthy enough to be released immediately, we provide critical care for them at our rescue center until they are ready to be released into protected areas. The final element of our comprehensive approach is to help make sustainable changes in communities by providing people with alternative livelihoods and by educating children and the public to create an attitude of conservation.

By donating on #GivingTuesday, you will be joining millions of people around the world who are giving to support positive change. Your gift will make a real impact to save critical species like elephants, tigers, gibbons and pangolins. Give the gift of keeping wild animals wild, this holiday season. 

Released Bird Returns After Injury

Recently, a rescued rufous-winged buzzard chick was brought to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC).  He was originally cared for in our nursery and was moved to a larger cage as he steadily grew. When he was big enough to be released, keepers placed a feeding table on the ground outside his enclosure and opened the cage door – releasing him into the protected forest surrounding PTWRC. Although he left our care, the keepers regularly saw him in the trees just behind the Nursery and often heard his mewing calls. He was thriving in the wild, catching insects and small vertebrates, and never taking any of the meat the keepers continually put down for him. Around two months later, one of the keepers, Lerm, saw the buzzard by his old cage, eating the meat we continued to provide. A closer inspection revealed the bird had an injured leg. Unable to catch his own food, the buzzard was smart enough to eat the food we were providing. After discovering the debilitating injury, Lerm brought the buzzard back into his care to treat his leg, with plans to release him after recovery. The injury was nearly fully healed when Lerm entered his cage to feed him one day, but wild at heart, the bird saw his chance and escaped! Lerm still leaves a little meat out for him, but we expect the tenacious little bird will do quite well on his own.

This buzzard exemplifies just one of the many ways our keepers go above and beyond for rescued animals, both while they are in our care and after they have been released. Although the buzzard did not utilize the free meals his keepers provided after his release, they continued to provide the meat, just in case. This may have saved the young bird’s life.

Another way the keepers want to provide exceptional care for our rescued birds is to provide them with a free flight aviary. In just the third quarter of 2016, 257 birds were brought to PTWRC. The large enclosure will house multiple birds as they recover and will allow them to fly and socialize, preparing them for life in the wild. With $2,000 left to raise there are only 28 days left to donate to this campaign. Donate today to help return these birds to the wild.

Wildlife Alliance on the ABC Show, The Wildlife Docs

The ABC show, The Wildlife Docs, visited Wildlife Alliance in Cambodia and is airing their trip over three episodes. In the episodes, you will meet our dedicated team and get a glimpse into our wildlife care, release, and education programs. The first two episodes have aired and the third is set to air this Saturday, November 19. On the next episode, Cambodian school children visit our rescue center and discover new ways to save wild animals. The Wildlife Docs help the kids identify gibbons, sun bears, tigers and different types of monkeys! Check your local airtime of The Wildlife Docs on ABC here.

Don’t worry if you missed the episodes, they will soon be on Hulu. Our wildlife rescue, care and education programs rely on donations to operate. If you would like to help us continue the work you have seen on The Wildlife Docs, please donate