NGO to build animal shelter

National 1 minute, 54 seconds


NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation 1stopBrunei is setting up a mini rehabilitation centre to protect endangered animals from poachers.

Bud Chapman, head of the Animal Rehabilitation Centre, said the centre will serve as a temporary shelter for endangered wildlife such as pangolins, slow lorises and turtles.

“It is a facility where we can temporarily keep the endangered animals until they are ready to be released into the wild again,” he told The Brunei Times.

He said the NGO had rescued about 35 endangered species, including 14 pangolins, since it started in 2012. The wildlife were handed over from members of the public.

Construction for the mini centre, which measures five metres by five metres, will start today and expected to be completed in about one month.

Chapman, 66, said the size of the centre will be expanded once they have enough funding.

He added that the location of the centre could not be disclosed as might take advantage of the endangered species.

An endangered animal could fetch up to thousands of dollars.

The head of the rehabilitation centre further said the land where the centre is built on was given to the NGO from a resident at the undisclosed location.

Five trainers from the NGO will be responsible in looking after the endangered animals before they grow older and gets released into the wild.

“The animals wouldn’t know how to survive and hunt. These animals, particularly the small ones, need time to learn or relearn survival skills. By having the rehabilitation centre, the animals will be trained for a certain period of time depending on their capability.

“Sometimes it takes a year to train the animals, especially the slow loris, but they need to be released to the jungle as soon as possible,” he continued.

Currently, 1stopBrunei has received about $2,000 from private sponsors. However, the NGO is still looking for more funding.

Meanwhile, five members of the environmental group yesterday released a 12kg female pangolin in Tutong.

Chapman said the pangolin was found on the evening of June 22 by a Kg Sungai Akar resident.

The person who contacted the NGO said the animal was caught in Kg Lamunin and was about to be sold in Limbang.

Members of the public who come across any endangered animals can contact the NGO at 8785714.

The Brunei Times