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Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Welcome to the Wildlife Friends Foundations Thailand

The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) is a registered foundation under Thai law, Foundation No: T271/2545

In Thailand, like in every country in the world, animals are abused and exploited for profit and human gratification. There are many examples of animal exploitation within the tourist industry, for example, photo animals, animals performing in degrading shows, and elephant camps. There is still a thriving illegal trade in wild animals for pets and medicine.

The major goals of our organisation are:

• To rescue captive wild animals and rehabilitate them as far as is feasible, allowing them to live the rest of their lives in a safe environment, as close to nature as possible and providing them with the best care possible.

• To campaign against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation in Thailand, work towards ending the illegal pet trade and discourage people from keeping all wild animals as pets. WFFT actively seeks to combat the illegal wildlife trade and to rescue animals from poor conditions or exploitation from human entertainment.

• To provide veterinary assistance to any sick or injured animal; wild or domestic.

•To educate and encourage local people (especially children), tourists and the international community to appreciate, understand and protect wildlife and their natural habitats through our education program. One of the most significant aspects of wildlife conservation is the education of local communities and raising awareness among tourists, who often inadvertently create a big demand for the exploitation of wildlife. WFFT wishes to make people understand the consequences of their actions and aims to persuade them to change their habits and attitudes towards life (If the buying stops the killing will too). This is a long and arduous process and requires a holistic approach to education. Tours are given regularly to western tourists at the rescue center with the aim of raising awareness for the plight of the animals in promoting “responsible eco-tourism”.

• To assist in and develop new projects involved in the protection, rehabilitation, humane captive environments, and welfare of all wild animals.

• To rehabilitate captive wild animals and release them back into the wild, repopulating forest areas in which they are already endangered or extinct.

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WFFT was founded in 2001 by Edwin Wiek with the help of the local people from Petchaburi province, including the Abbot of Wat Khao Look Chang who loaned a large piece of land to the foundation to house rescued animals. WFFT is a NGO (non-governmental organisation). We receive help from other animal protection organisations such as the International Primary Protection League (IPPL), Free The Bears, and Care for the Wild International, as well as many individuals with a passion for change.

WFFT is a nationwide effort involved in rescuing domesticated/ captive wild animals. Edwin Wiek still heads this project with the help from a team of full time staff, mostly from the local village, and a team of international volunteers who pay for their stay. Without the dedication of volunteers,

WFFT would not be able to continue to help these animals. We have volunteers from all over the world. Mostly, volunteers are from Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand, with a broad age range from 18 to 75. They represent various backgrounds from gap-year students, wildlife conservation/animal husbandry related students and scientists, career- breakers and retirees. Everyone has to live and work together, so please be considerate and respectful to others and be flexible with an open mind.

We are passionate about changing the habits of international tourists who visit Thailand, who unknowingly fuel the illegal trade and the exploitation and abuse of Thailand’s wildlife.

A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE FOR YOU IS A LIFETIME OF PAIN FOR THEM.

DO NOT SUPPORT ANIMAL CRUELTY. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

• DO NOT have photos with wild animals being used as photo props, go to animal shows or visit elephant camps or tiger temples/petting zoos.

• DO your research! Only visit rescue and rehab centers.

• DO NOT purchase animal souvenirs, including snake or tiger wine, bush meat, or ivory and other animal products. When the buying stops the killing stops too.

• DO tell family and friends. Write a story for your local newspaper back home, describing your experience in Thailand, ensuring our homepages www.wfft.org and www.wildlifevolunteer.org are mentioned.

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