What about our long-term residents, who may have permanent health issues meaning they can never be released? These animals play a vital role by teaching natural behaviours to any younger rescues with bright futures for re-release, and allowing all wildlife housed here to live a natural life is of the utmost importance to us. Therefore, maintaining wild instinct is essential for not only preserving wildlife, but also for animal wellbeing. An animal should never have to do anything other than be an animal, on their own schedule.
We also operate with a strict social media policy, and do not permit any of our volunteers to share photos of orphaned animals under the care of our staff, or where staff or veterinary volunteers are physically interacting with animals. Why is this?
When people see others doing what could be perceived as “playing” with wildlife, it sends a dangerous message that it’s okay to “play” or interact with wildlife. The illegal wildlife trade is fuelled by demand, and people wanting animals as pets, or businesses knowing they can make a profit from letting tourists interact with animals, only serves to make things worse.
We encourage you to read more about the ethics of any animal volunteering programme you’re looking into. This resource from GoAbroad is a good place to start, with a list of questions that any reputable organisation should be able to answer. If you have any questions related to these topics or our volunteer programmes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!