Animal Rescuers: Unsung Heroes Who Dedicate Their Lives to Saving Animals

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There is no doubt that animals are brave and will not hesitate to save humans in need. Humans, on the other hand, are a bit divided on the subject. Fortunately, there are animal rescuers who have dedicated their lives to protecting our friends in the animal kingdom.

These unsung heroes rarely get medals and prizes. Their salaries are just enough to feed their families. They’re certainly not expecting to become millionaires, but they do what they do for the love of animals. And because they’re decent human beings, of course.

Animal Rescue Teams and Stories

Pangolin Men

Pangolins are highly endangered creatures. These mammals have steadily been decreasing in number for many years now, but the Tykki Hywood Trust in Zimbabwe have been making large strides in protecting these animals. The group that protects the pangolins are fondly called the Pangolin Men. They’re more than just wildlife caretakers, they are pangolin bodyguards and nannies rolled into one.

Pangolin Men pic by Adrien Steirn

“Pangolin Men” pictures by Adrien Steirn

Each of the Pangolin Men is in charge of one pangolin, which they feed, take for walks, and technically bond with. They care for the young ones until they are able to function in the wild. Click here to learn how you can help the Pangolin Men and the TH Trust.

SPCA in New Zealand

In 2016, the SPCA centers in New Zealand were able to help 60,000 animals who were abused and dying. With just a very small budget from the government, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals runs almost entirely on donations.

SPCA New Zealand

SPCA volunteer via Facebook/SPCA New Zealand

It’s not an easy job since the 46 centers serve a lot of abandoned and abused animals every day. Aside from helping the animals, the volunteers hold seminars and workshops to help educate people about dealing with animals like decent human beings. These people have rescued younglings who were sold illegally and dogs neglected by their owners. To help the SPCA New Zealand, visit their website.

Virunga National Park Rangers and Volunteers

The Senkwekwe Center at the Virunga National Park, which is located between Uganda and Rwanda, is the only certified place in the world that cares for orphaned mountain gorillas.

Ndakasi with Ranger Andre Bauma at Virunga National Park

Ndakasi with Ranger Andre Bauma at Virunga National Park via Facebook/Love Wild Africa

Virunga is the oldest national park in Africa. Its rangers and volunteers have been taking care of animals for so long. Despite their efforts, mountain gorillas are still being hunted and killed.

There are only around 880 mountain gorillas left in the wild now. But amid the bad news of dwindling population and the rise of narcissistic and cruel hunters, last March 2016, the Senkwekwe Rangers were able to rescue a baby mountain gorilla. The baby gorilla, named Lulingo, is less than a year old. He was abducted from the park to be traded or sold. His mother was killed, and he was taken. He was eventually rescued.

Lulingo is being taken care of by veteran experts like Bobo (from the featured image). If you want to know more about the work of the rangers and volunteers at Virunga National Park, watch the award-winning documentary, Virunga on Netflix (although you should prepare your tissues). In the meantime, check out how you can help the park through here.

Soi Dog Foundation

This foundation in Thailand was started by a married couple, Gill and John Dally, and Margot Homburg Park. It began humbly in 2003, but since then, the foundation has grown considerably and has helped more than a hundred thousand dogs.

It wasn’t a walk in the park, especially when the number of stray dogs in Thailand was increasing. In 2004, Gill Dally waded into flood waters to rescue a dog. In doing so, she acquired septicemia and lost both her legs. During that time, the organization also lost a volunteer, Leone Cosens, while she was helping tsunami victims. Despite the tragedies, many people began to volunteer their time and expertise at Soi Dog.

It became the first dog-rescuing foundation to be granted such a status in Thailand in 2005. The foundation covers many areas. They employ people to uncover smugglers and butcheries that cater to the dog meat trade. They also work closely with other agencies and other countries in strengthening existing laws to protect animals and banning ones that allow people to abuse them. You don’t have to be in Thailand to help Soi Dog. Learn how you can sponsor a dog here.

There are many other people out there who have risked life and limb to protect animals. There are also those who have dedicated their time and energy saving our non-human friends. If you know of them, write them in the comments below and spread their good work!

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