A month ago, we updated you on the amazing rehab story of one little sun bear in Sumatra. This week, we’re going back to Sumatra to look at the challenges our partners Stay Wild and ISCP are facing amid this pandemic. Their work fighting wildlife trafficking in Indonesia is more vital now than ever, as this is also the fight against the spread of zoonotic disease like COVID-19.
In the wake of economic shutdown and the close of the Leuser Ecosystem park, it seems people are becoming more brazen about poaching and trafficking wildlife. Sun bears are, tragically being hit particularly hard, since the devastating promotion of China that sun bear bile can be used to combat COVID-19:
We are seeing, through patrols like those organised by Stay Wild, more bear and monkey snares being brazenly set in the open:
And we are seeing the heartbreaking effects of these snares:
The images and video link above have been taken by our partner Stay Wild, captured on one of the wildlife camera traps which we donated to them.
Our program with ISCP works to rescue and rehabilitate all wildlife, like sun bears, poached and trafficked in the area of Gunung Leuser National Park, in cooperation with the BKSDA Indonesian wildlife reserve:
We need to work with these partners we have in Sumatra, coordinating teams to stop the sources of poaching and the black markets, but we need to protect our teams as well. These ISCP team members are rescuing animals from the black markets in PPE given to them by the BKSDA to protect against zoonotic disease from the markets:
We want to provide them with as much protection as possible, so they are able to safely protect, rescue and rehabilitate as many vulnerable animals as possible, whilst also continuing to educate the local communities on the risks that arise from poaching, the black markets and contact with wild animals.
Our COVID-19 campaign is continuing to raise money to help keep this work going:
-Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors
Cute Piggy image of the week: