There have been some comments made in recent weeks by those seemingly disgruntled with the services we provide. So sadly I feel compelled to remind you all that these are services we provide FREE OF CHARGE, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nobody pays us for the costs of these services. No one pays me for the health risks of crawling over broken glass and garbage to capture a croc residing under an apartment building, or for crawling through a combination of rain water and sewage to remove a croc residing under a families home. No one pays me for the countless hours spent sat by a trap, or sat on location monitoring crocodile presence and behavior. And I wish they would because I would be a wealthy man. But thatís not the way it is. The reality is we have had almost no source of income in 5 months, and while we go broke, Christina and I eat once a day (twice if weíre really hungry) so we can make every penny count and continue to provide these much needed services for as long as we can.
So far this year we have received 154 wildlife calls. 105 of which required an immediate response where we drop everything and come running, day or night. In the case of croc calls, some were an immediate capture from yards or under homes. Others needed baited traps setting that require multiple site visits, while others required long man hours scavenging and delivering materials so families can barricade their properties and deny crocs access.
Of the 154 calls received this year, 61 resulted in wildlife intakes in the form of snakes, raccoons, turtles, iguanas, crocs, an anteater, pelicans, cormorants, booby birds, seagulls, frigatebirds, pigeons, doves, cuckoos, parakeets, and an owl once. Some need looking after short term, some long term, and some are too sick or injured and die right there in your arms.
These intakes require care, they come with vet bills, and the cost of medical supplies, antibiotics, anti parasitics, formula for babies and food for juveniles or adults. A lot of the food has to be bought, a bit can be fished, baby bird food has to be painstakingly scavenged nightly one insect at a time until thereís enough for the next days required intake.
Some of these animals require feeding first thing in the morning, others in the middle of the night, and others still require constant care, feeding every 30-60 minutes. These animals have to be housed in enclosures that require maintenance and upkeep in an environment that degrades everything quickly. Water enclosures cost us an extortionate amount in electricity running pumps and filters, not to mention the man hours cleaning, disinfecting, and refilling every time an animal leaves and another comes in.
Just like every other organization in country, this pandemic has hit us hard, not just financially, but with our volunteers availability to assist with the endless daily chores, and quite frankly, Christina and I are physically and mentally exhausted. There are days when we do not want this responsibility, when we are just too damned tired to get up, or stressed by the worries of our financial future and the unknown of how on earth it will be possible to feed ourselves and still keep this organization going.
But we do keep going. And as long as there is gas in the tank and the cart runs, we will continue to respond to any and all wildlife calls. But I WILL NOT shoulder blame for the actions of others or responsibilities that are beyond my control.
If a croc shows up under your house every single rainy season, itís your responsibility to fence it off. If snakes keep getting into your chicken coop, itís your responsibility to make it predator proof. If a neighbor has illegally decimated mangrove opening up private residences or public roads to water ways inhabited with crocs, it is your responsibility to report it to the authorities and ensure your pets are kept secure.
We are not omnipresent, we are not psychic, and we are not responsible for the actions or inactions of others. We are only 2 people doing everything we can for the wildlife and the community of this island.
To those that continue to support us and those that have donated recently, there are no words for how appreciative we are. Truly. Your supports allows us to keep going and keep going we will.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.