Liberia Visit Follow-up

It is always good to get good news. Following Lisa’s trip to Liberia and The Tikki Hywood Foundation’s working relationship with Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary there has been a lot happening, but you can read all about it in Julie Vanassche’s report below.

Lisa Hywood said something very poignant on her return from her trip to Liberia and it hit a chord, and certainly makes one question why we work in isolation when so much can be achieved working together? She said “A single person or an organization on its own is not conservation. Conservation is collaboration and involvement from all stakeholders for the benefit of the cause you are fighting”

You would have read our last newsletter from Lisa’s amazing trip to Liberia and the people she met and worked with.  We would like to share with you the feedback we have received from Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary since her visit and what they have managed to achieve.
It certainly goes along way into understand what Lisa meant by knowledge sharing and collaborating.

Report from Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary
By Julie Vanassche
On February 27, 2017, a young tree pangolin was brought to the sanctuary. I feared this day would come, as I had very little knowledge about taking care of these animals. The only thing I knew, was that most of them die in captivity. Through a Facebook friend, I came in touch with Lisa Hywood of the Tikki Hywood Trust in Zimbabwe. 15 min after the pangolin was brought in, I was already on the phone with her as she guided me through the entire process of “walking with pangolin”.

 Lies foraging in the forrest
Julie Vanassche, Lisa Hywood and a member of the FDA (Liberian Nation Parks) 

She became my number one “helpline” as more pangolin came in. That’s where she decided I could use some help in this, so she decided to come all the way to Liberia to help me out. After many months of planning, she arrived on June 10.
Not only did I learn a lot about the care of pangolin, we discussed law enforcement, release sites and how the sanctuary could improve. It was very interesting to learn from someone with that much experience, and the advice she gave is still implemented on a day to day basis.

Working on enclosures

On top of that, US$6000 was donated to the sanctuary. Thanks to this generous amount, we were able to renew the wire on some of the primate enclosures as they were starting to rust and break, and we have built pangolin boxes and transport boxes. These boxes have already served their purpose: yet another tree pangolin was rescued and released and this week a vulture, 6 tortoises and 8 turtles will find their way back to freedom!

Julie with one of her rescued pangolins

On top of that, I am now able to employ 2 extra people at the sanctuary, who help me with the daily care of the animals. The remaining money will be spent on awareness campaigns (billboards, flyers, etc.) and the building of new enclosures.

Because the sanctuary is very new and solely relies on donations, this financial support was very welcome to speed up certain things.
Therefore, I would like to give many thanks to the Tikki Hywood Trust for supporting the sanctuary!