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Most of you have heard about SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) but have you heard of ACRES (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society)?
ACRES is an animal protection organization where they adopt research projects on the use of animals in various fields and in turn use the findings to educate the public to promote active community involvement in the animal protection movement, as well as strive towards synergistic partnerships with authorities and related parties. ACRES focuses more on tackling wildlife trade, wildlife rescue, and rehabilitation. Unlike SPCA, ACRES does not handle stray cats and dogs.
We visited ACRES over the weekend and it was an eye-opener for all of us. We got to experience how animals felt when they were being caged. Smarties were in there for a short while and couldn’t take it. Do you think you will feel good being caged up all day?
We saw shelves of products of different brands and we thought they were selling it. As a matter of fact, those were the support cruelty-free products and to our surprise, there were quite a number of the famous brand there. It was heartening to know that these famous brands were part of the support after know how the products were being produced with the use of animals in the testing. The message that they are trying to bring to us is that by purchasing products from cruelty-free companies, we’ll be helping to end cruel tests on animals while sending a powerful message to those companies that are still testing. Can you make a guess which are the brands listed there?
The day before, smarty read an article about bear bile farming and he was curious to find out more. Coincidentally, the guide showed us a shelf with different parts of the wild animals being traded for different reasons and one of them is the bear bile. He took the chance and asked questions in regards to that and got his questions answered. He was surprised that even horns and other parts of animals can be traded for different reasons, especially for health purposes.
There was an area which shows how the animals were being smuggled into countries for the illegal pet trade. It was really sad to know some of the facts but that also got us more aware of what was going on in this world. Smarties couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw these and their ears when they heard what the guide told them. Can you imagine yourself being locked up in that small container with low survival rate?
Taken from Wikipedia:”Interpol has estimated the extent of the illegal wildlife trade between $10 billion and $20 billion per year. While the trade is a global one, with routes extending to every continent, conservationists say the problem is most acute in Southeast Asia.”
Can you believe that? The trade is estimated to be BILLIONS of dollars and is most acute in Southeast Asia! We read and heard a lot about exotic meat being sold in Asia especially for health benefits, some specialty restaurants even feature wildlife as gourmet dining. Now we know where those meat is coming from and in what type of situation they were transported in.
After the indoor educational tour, we went to the outdoor. Smarties were excited to see what types of animals that ACRES have rescued. No, there wasn’t any cute abandoned pets but we saw more exotic types and they were snakes (we couldn’t take any pictures as there were all hiding among the branches) and iguanas.
We even saw one of the volunteers bringing out one of the iguanas for sun tanning. She was petting it and it just stayed still there enjoying its relaxing moment. How cute was that? The only thing missing is the nice music.
On the other side of ACRES, where we need to sanitize our shoes before heading in, we saw many different types of turtles and tortoises that were being rescued.
We find it very heartwarming that the staffs and volunteers gave each of them a name and they even know their characters well. They have really grown true friendships over here. Check out the one on the log. We were told that this is the naughty one who always likes to fight for food with its roommate rather than eating its own share. Yes, it toppled over but it didn’t care any less and headed straight for his roommate’s food.
In the evening time or late afternoon, these areas will be made comfortable for the turtles/tortoises to sleep in. These beds will be locked at night to prevent people from coming in to smuggle the turtles/tortoises out for illegal trade.
The trip to ACRES was both heartwarming and sad. Heartwarming as we know that the staffs and volunteers are doing their best to protect these animals. Sad to know how the animals are being treated worldwide. It was an amazing learning journey for both the adults and the children where we learned so much from the people here.
If you are keen on a private tour like we did, please kindly email Sumita at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a minimum donation of $10 per person requested for the tour. The donation is used for purchasing food for the rescued animals and to maintain the area. For further information on what ACRES does, please refer to their website at http://acres.org.sg
Do you know of any organization that functions like ACRES in your country? Have you visited them yet? Tell us how you feel after your trip to ACRES or other similar organizations. We would definitely appreciate your view and how you feel about wildlife rescue.