Thanks to a subtropical and tropical climate in Florida, the southeastern US state has a rather extraordinary diversity when it comes to animal and plant species which makes it a popular destination for outdoor travelers and day tourists.
Since tourism and conservation often come into conflict it is essential to regulate tourism and to offer protection areas in order to preserve the largely pristine nature. Different animal and species protection projects have been brought into being that are dedicated to the protection of endangered species and the care of wild animals in need.
One of the projects that is dedicated to the care of wild animals does its work in an animal protection center north of Florida’s fifth largest city Orlando.
The animal protection center functions as an animal shelter for wild animals that are often not able to live independently in the wild anymore or in their former conditions because of abuse, neglect, or injuries.
Located in the Ocala National Forest that is controlled by the US-government, the station is a perfect refuge for the animals to recover and to gather strength. Bears, predatory cats, wolves, primates, or bats are taken care of and many of them are able to recover thanks to the intensive care of the animal protection team. In some cases, wild animals native to Florida can even be released into the wild again.
Furthermore, the animal protection center welcomes groups of visitors on a regular basis to raise awareness of the threats the animals face and to share their knowledge about their keeping and handling.
In order for the project to still exist in the future and for the animals to keep their refuge, there is a need for not only financial support but especially for the help of engaged workers. The involvement of voluntary helpers is crucial for the continued existence of this worthwhile project. The German agency NATUCATE is also committed to its continuation – therefore, they make an effort in finding volunteers who want to support the project.
Support by Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche
The board of Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche decided to support the animal protection center after reading an extensive report about the project’s work by NATUCATE.
Since October 2017 they award a chosen volunteer with a scholarship. This volunteer has the chance to preserve the shelter in a four-week voluntary service on site by preparing food, feeding the animals, cleaning out and maintaining the enclosures and the area, and helping out with the veterinary care. Simultaneously, the volunteer will get an insight in the daily business of a non-profit animal protection center and will gain valuable practical skills.
The volunteer is provided with on-site accommodation, a house consisting of shared rooms and a shared bathroom and kitchen.
Furthermore, Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche decided to provide the project with a donation in kind that benefits the renovation of the existing facilities, especially the expansion of the lemur enclosers.
We would like to thank Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche for contributing to the continuation of this project through this wonderful support!
For the year 2018, the scholarship for the animal protection project in Florida was awarded to Kim, a 19-year old student from Leverkusen.
Kim is currently doing a school-based education to become a graphic design assistant and is on her way to do her ‘Fachabitur’, the German equivalent for a vocational baccalaureate diploma.
She has a great love for animals and grew up with cats, dogs, and other small animals. Animal protection is a matter of heart for Kim and according to her “it shouldn’t be inferior to the protection of humans. Every person should develop awareness for the worth of non-human life.” The chance to work as a volunteer in Florida is something very special for Kim. “So far, this possibility wasn’t realizable without support.
Thanks to Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche I now get the chance to travel to the USA and gain an insight in the work of an animal protection center.
“I am excited to learn more about the individual care of the different animals and look forward to providing them with a safe refuge and to seeing them happy.”
During her stay in Florida, Kim is going to write a blog about her experiences in the project and will thus allow us to partake in her adventure. In the course of Kim’s time in the United States this ‘travel journal’ is going to be published on the homepage of Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche.
In her free time Kim likes to skateboard, to draw and to photograph.
The German agency NATUCATE, located in the city of Aachen, is specialized on educational stays abroad in connection with voluntary service in nature, animal, or species protection projects.
In accordance with the agency’s name that is composed of the words “nature” and “to educate”, NATUCATE wants to combine nature and education. Through voluntary work, nature-orientated training courses, and internships participants get the chance to contribute to the preservation of natural habitats and endangered species, to understand the worth of the earth’s natural resources and this way to broaden their horizons.