Thursday, 27 October 2011

Shep beats the odds

Dear friends,

Everyone at Animal Tracks is proud of the amount of successful adoptions that regularly take place but generally those chosen animals fall into the cute and cuddly category. It's never easy taking on a disabled or sick animal that will need long term intensive care but for those who do these prove to be rewarding partnerships. Sometimes a human and an animal just mesh together and looks and condition have no bearing on the relationship and bond that forms.

Rescued dog Animal Tracks GoaAn Indian lady who has lived and worked in Finland had come to Goa to sort out the final details of her new home here where she is soon to retire. Whilst she was organising her imminent move she stayed in a hotel in one of the nearby coastal resorts. Beneath her balcony each day she noticed a dog in such a sorry state who looked up at her and touched her heart. She began to feed him and realised the extent of his poor condition.

She was already aware of IAR and the amazing work carried out at Animal Tracks so Shep, as she named the dog, was brought to the centre where the vets could assess him and decide what could be done to help. Poor Shep, although not an old dog, had obviously fallen on hard times and most of his once long coat was matted or missing and his entire body was covered in sores and mange.

Rescued dog Animal Tracks GoaAn old injury to a front leg would sadly permanently render him disabled but Shep had the brightest face and loveliest soft trusting eyes and despite whatever he'd been through, he still had faith in humans. It was decided that he should be admitted to Animal Tracks and receive intensive care and regular good food and affection. He had the best medication and enjoyed regular baths to sooth his skin and help relieve the irritation.

The lady returned to Finland in order to finalise her affairs there, but not before pledging to return for Shep and take him to live with her in her new home for the rest of his life which will no doubt be a very happy one. For the time being Shep is being pampered while he recuperates at a temporary foster home with one of IAR's long term supporters, but he will soon be reunited with this special individual who mercifully could not turn away and see him alone and suffering.

Olive x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Introducing the Civet Sisters

Hello everyone!

Meet two cute baby orphans that were recently brought in to us here at Animal Tracks after being rescued by the Forestry Department of Goa. IAR has long had a close working relationship with the Forestry Department and because the vets here have great success in raising small wild orphans, they knew we'd welcome the civet kittens for short term care. Then, when they are able to forage for food and fend for themselves, we will bid them a fond goodbye and they will be released back into the jungle.

The civets – aka “toddy cats” - are undeniably cute. But they need to remain as wild as possible so that their successful transition back to the wild is not jeopardised by domestication. So the staff are not handling them unless they absolutely have to. At least these two kittens have each other for company and are not lost single babies.

Civet kittens Animal Tracks GoaCivets will eat almost anything, including insects and small rodents, but have a voracious appetite for berries and soft fruit. They are agile and great tree climbers equipped with powerful claws, sharp teeth and a feline appearance. But civets are actually far closer relatives to mongoose than any species of wild cat. They love to drink the palm flower sap which is locally fermented to produce a potent alcohol called toddy, hence their more common local name as toddy cats.

When back in the wild the civet sisters will need to be vigilant and quick as civets are prey to many other wild animals including snakes and crocodiles, but the main threat to the survival of the species could eventually come from man as increasing deforestation is resulting in less natural habitat for civets and many other creatures.

This would be a sad irony as, by way of seed dispersal and propagation of new vegetation, these lovely little animals are efficient maintainers of the precious ecosystem.

So for now the sisters will remain with us as an exotic addition to the stream of temporary guests that find sanctuary here at Animal Tracks but pretty soon they'll be released to live and breed and play their roles in the natural beautiful balance of life in the Goan jungle.

That’s all from me!

Bye for now!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Pigs in clover

Hello dear friends

From time to time over the past couple of years there's been an update on our resident brother and sister pigs. They came to the centre in May 2009 as gorgeous, tiny piglets who had lost their mother.

Pigs leave Animal Tracks for new homeThey were adopted, but sadly circumstances led them to come back to us and since then they have been happy and contented in their own special enclosure, close to all the daily activity near reception where they have become very popular members of our extended family and provided much interest and amusement to centre visitors - and everyone else too come to that!

But now for the latest! Recently an IAR supporter expressed an interest in the pigs. She lives in the Indian state of Pune and has eight acres of protected land where she allows a variety of rescued animals to live in peace and freedom. It seemed like a dream come true for the lovely pair, although they have been very happy as centre residents. Nevertheless, the opportunity to roam free and safe whilst still being cared for and loved was simply too good to miss.

So it is a bittersweet story that leads us all at Animal Tracks to be saying a very fond farewell to the porky pair and wishing them all the very best in their wonderful new life. We're going to miss having them around, that’s for sure!

Bye for now!

Olive x