Back in 2014 we had rescued a total 83 wild animals, released 58 of them and had 254 under our long term care. Some were victims of human-wildlife conflict, many were rescued from the illegal bushmeat or pet trades and all had come through our Wildlife Centre which, as Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary, was a very busy operation. We never turned an animal away and yet we were getting an increasing number of calls about helping wild animals in distress that we couldn’t respond to, especially rhinos or elephants in national parks injured by snares set by poachers.
So we set up the Wildlife Emergency Response Unit (WERU), in partnership with the Department of National Parks & Wildlife, to provide nationwide in-field veterinary related support for wildlife emergencies and conservation projects across the entire country.
Since its inception, WERU has been run by Dr Amanda Salb, who remains the only wildlife veterinarian in country qualified for wildlife capture. In the first year, we responded to 31 callouts and it was clear there was a need for us to keep up the good work.
Despite support from well-wishers, it was a struggle to fund all the operations, so we were thrilled when the Olsen Animal Trust and Margot Raggett, via the Born Free Foundation, heard of our plight and stepped forward to offer their support. Margot recently published a photography book called Remembering Elephants, from which she pledged all the profits to support welfare projects recommended by Born Free.
As a result we now have 2 years of funding secured for both the Wildlife Emergency Response Unit out in the field as well as the emergency veterinary care for wild animals rescued through the Wildlife Centre (94 rescues and counting this year), meaning that Amanda can concentrate entirely on her job rather than worry about how she is going to pay for drugs! Thanks so much for your support. We are looking forward to updating you with WERU’s activities and stories as they unfold.
ABOUT OUR PARTNERS
The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. They were one of LWT’s first ever partners, and helped to set up our Wildlife Centre back in 2008, providing significant funding and technical support, and they have since funded a number of other wildlife welfare and community outreach projects. Read more here.
The Olsen Animal Trust was established to partner organisations and individuals who are aligned in their vision to end animal cruelty and exploitation, enhance animal welfare, and conserve wildlife in its natural habitat. We first met them in 2014, and they have become key partners on several welfare and anti-trafficking initiatives. Read more here.