27 February 2022
Today is World NGO Day, an international day dedicated to honouring non-governmental organisations and charities, and their vital work to make the world a better place. We especially celebrate Born Free’s outstanding and diverse colleagues across the globe, united by our shared passion for wild animals.
Aided by our loyal supporters, Born Free works in close collaboration with like-minded organisations, providing our partners with funds, equipment and expertise. Groups like counter-trafficking organisation Freeland, supported by Born Free since 2000, who work on the frontline to protect vulnerable wildlife including endangered Indochinese tigers. Thanks to Freeland's undercover investigation, Thai authorities have just arrested three suspects, following the poaching of two tigers in western Thailand in January. Skins from endangered species including tiger, leopard and clouded leopard were retrieved as well as live leopard cats.
“Congratulations to Royal Thai Police and Department of National Parks for acting swiftly,” said Petcharat Sangchai, Executive Director of Freeland Thailand, whose team supported the investigation. “We must all work together to prevent more poaching and show that Thailand will not tolerate wildlife trafficking.” Our work continues to help protect wild tigers in Thailand and support the recovery of the precious Indochinese subspecies.
Meanwhile in central India, Born Free has just appointed a new consultant, Yashvardhan Dalmia, to help coordinate a vital network of local organisations devoted to Bengal tiger conservation. Established by Born Free in 2004, the Satpuda Tiger Landscape Programme works with local people to protect habitats, stop poaching and resolve conflict. Since our work began, India's tiger population has doubled from 1,411 to around 3,000 tigers today. The country's vast forests are now home to 75% of all wild tigers – a dazzling success story.
But, Born Free always remembers the individual and is delighted to see our 15-year-old tiger Sandro – rescued from an appalling zoo in Spain – thriving at Animanatura, our partner sanctuary in Tuscany, Italy. Born Free moved Sandro to his tranquil lifetime home last April and he can now enjoy a dip in his swimming pool then a stroll amongst the shady trees of his grassy enclosure, under the watchful eye of our Italian colleagues. Sandro had previously endured years in a shocking barren cage but thankfully, after years of Born Free campaigning with Spanish colleagues, Ayamonte Zoo closed in 2019.
By working co-operatively, pooling resources and sharing expertise, Born Free can maximise efforts and achieve so much more for wildlife. But none of this would be possible without our most treasured colleagues of all – you, our sensational Born Free supporters. Thank you for all you do to help wild animals in need, together we make a grrrrreat team!