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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

IAR teaches respect for wildlife in Indonesia

International Animal Rescue's team in Indonesia has conducted a series of presentations and workshops to teach local villagers to respect and preserve their native wildlife. The education initiative follows the release of a rare Javan leopard back into the wild that had been caught in a snare almost ten months before.

School children learning about wildlifeThe leopard, named Aceng, was badly injured and required intensive veterinary treatment to restore him to health. It was important to prepare local villagers for Aceng's release and encourage them no longer to hunt wild animals in the forest.

The leopard, named Aceng, was badly injured and required intensive veterinary treatment to restore him to health. It was important to prepare local villagers for Aceng's release and encourage them no longer to hunt wild animals in the forest.

When the team returned, almost four weeks after the release of Aceng, they held workshops over a three day period in three villages and four schools.

The workshops for the adults began with a slideshow of the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Aceng. Then, through presentations and discussions, the team demonstrated why the forest is important and why hunting of wild animals should be avoided. The team also taught them about the various wild animals that live in the forest of Karang Mountain and explained about their behaviour and conservation status.

Workshop on the importance of respecting wildlife and their habitatMost adults were very enthusiastic, which was evident not only from the large number of people gathered at the workshops, but also by their active participation in the discussions and presentations. Villagers shared stories on their daily interactions with wildlife, explaining that macaque monkeys and wild boar cause them a problem when they are working in the field. The team urged them to try to tolerate these animals that are after all living in their natural habitat.

At the schools, the presentations focused on the identification of wild animals and their importance. A combination of presentations, games, films and discussion kept the children interested. They were all very enthusiastic and some teachers looked likely to give further attention to environmental subjects in the future.

At the end of the sessions IAR's team was confident that the villagers learned a great deal from the workshops and will look at the natural world around them with new eyes in future. It is hoped that hunting with snares will no longer be practised, so that Aceng and the other animals in the forest can live safely and without the risk of being caught and wounded in the future.