Our concrete jungle will see the establishment of a new wildlife rescue centre come April next year. The Acres Wildlife Rescue Centre (AWRC) will house animals which were smuggled into Singapore, and later confiscated by the AVA (the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore).
Tell us more about AWRC. What kinds of animals will be housed there?
Primates, marsupials, reptiles, small carnivores and small ungulates. It’ll house approximately 400 animals.
What does the AWRC need the most currently?
Funds! We need over a million Singapore dollars to establish the Acres Wildlife Rescue Centre and we urgently need help from the public!
What’s the worst animal trafficking incident you can think of?
A smuggler packed six baby orang utans in two crates and checked them in as luggage at Changi Airport in 1990. They made it through customs but during the transit in Bangkok, the custom officers heard the orang utans crying. They opened the crates and found the babies upside down. They were packed so tightly that they could not even move. All eventually died.
That’s sad. If you had free reign, how would you punish animal traffickers?
Kidnap them from their homes, tie them up, pack them in crates and send them to live in a prison on the other side of the world!
What’s one lesson that you think animals can teach humans?
There is a chimpanzee called Washoe who can communicate with humans using sign language. Washoe previously had a miscarriage. Her caregiver was pregnant and also had a miscarriage. When she returned to see Washoe, Washoe asked, “Where’s baby?” She replied “Baby died.” Washoe then signed, “Come hug.” Animals extend compassion to other species and this, we can learn from them.