Hello! It's me Sarah from the Business team 🙆♀️ What are you up to lately? I'd like to share my Sunday-well-spent experience visiting Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre a couple of weeks ago and introduce you to some of my new lovely friends 😀
I received an invitation from my long lost friend to visit Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre in Tabanan, since she just got accepted as a Volunteer Coordinator at Friends of The National Parks Foundation Indonesia (FNPF). FNPF is an Indonesian non-profit organization working to protect wildlife, restrore habitat, and improve the wellbeing of local communities. They have a mission to reach the long term goal of sustainable conservation by integrating local community wellbeing with the environment. Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre was operated by FNPF, one of only seven rescue centers in Indonesia that is still active. The teams of Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre are taking care to rehabilitate and release native endangered wildlife, most of which are victims of illegal trading, poaching, and black market. They provide a safe, nurturing home until the vulnerable wildlife are released, transferred to other facilities, or sometimes for the rest of their lives.
My friend invited me to join her daily routine activities at the Centre. We started with a short tour around the Centre to explore all of the Facilities that are provided for the rescued animals. Throughout the short tour I met some wondrous animals that have been well taken care of by the team members of Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre. After a bonding moment with the animals, I had a chance to help the staff cleaning the animal enclosures, preparing food for the animals, and making an enrichment for the animals. It was an exciting experience, to get along with the animals. I never imagined that I will get that close with wildlife animals. I even had an opportunity to assist a sea eagle with a shower at his bathing time (another unforgettable moment).
As I promised in the beginning, I will introduce you with some of my new friends and share a bit about them:
First one is Baloo the Sun Bear, she's the most clingy animal at the Centre, wherever you go she will follows you. Baloo arrived at the Centre when she was 5 months old, she was sold on the black market and trained to make a catchy sound to get buyer's attention. Someone found her smuggled across borders packed in a small box on the bus. Sun bears are native to Sumatera and Borneo, and are listed as vulnerable due to deforestation and poaching. They are wanted by irresponsible groups to take Sun bear's bile for traditional medicine, their body parts are falsely believed to provide medical value. Now, Baloo is in perfect condition, they are planning to release him to Sumatera in 2 years, when she's ready to be able to survive on her own into the wild.
And this is Nico, he is an endemic yellow-crested cockatoo from North Maluku, which is listed as endangered. He was found stuffed in plastic bottle on a docked ship. He was kept inside bottles to stop him from flapping. The suspect was about to sell Nico domestically in giant avian markets or smuggled abroad. He is such a lovely bird, every staff at the Centre has special bond with him. Each time the staff came to clean his crib he will jump up on their shoulder 🥺 Nico is still under treatment, he had obvious injury and damaged wings.
This is Luca, an attractive and hyper Lutung Jawa known as leaf monkey. Lutung Jawa is endemic species that can be found in restricted distribution of Eastern Java. Luca was one of the animals that has been abandoned from the Zoo that is no longer operating and has been shut down. Luca is still in a rehabilitation program until he is completely ready to be released to his natural habitat at a suitable release site. There are many others pleasing rescued animals that also had tragic stories about how they ended up at the Centre.
One of the staff that I met at the Centre explained to me that across Indonesia wildlife is being displaced by deforestation, when land is cleared to make way for palm oil and rubber plantation, or when roads are built into remote areas. Forced out of their natural habitat, animals and birds become the target of poachers and traffickers. Baloo, Nico, and Luca are three rescued animals out of more than 40 endangered other animals taken from the illegal wildlife trade within the Bali island. The primates and birds they look after at the Centre have been mostly confiscated by official from illegal ownership, injury, or wildlife market where they have been kept as pets or entertainment. Some are also handed to the Centre by the public.
Unfortunately, many animals would not survive in their wild habitat due to disabilities, old age, or unnatural behaviors, so the Centre offers the sanctuary for them to live out their lives in a saving and loving environment. Friends of The National Parks Foundation Indonesia (FNPF) has other successful projects, including releasing rescued orang utans into the wild in Kalimantan and endangered birds in Nusa Penida island.
Wildlife plays an important role in balancing the environment, for maintaining the ecological balance on this earth, animals, plants, and marine species are as important as humans. Wildlife provides a stability for significant processes of nature that helps contribute to the ecosystem in its own special way. For those of you who wants to meet Baloo, Nico, Luca, and other rescued animals, you can visit and volunteering at Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre, you can work closely with the animals and also help them to promote and raise funds to improve the Centre operation. You can also contribute to have a role in the care of those vulnerable wildlife by donating through their official website.
Anyway, September is Biodiversity month! so, I have a random question, just wondering what is your favorite/spirit animal? mine is a wolf! 🐺Thank you for reading and let me know if you're interested to visit Baloo, Nico, and Luca! Nos vemos 👋