Having finally agreed to hand over the animals, after months of negotiations and changes of mind, the WFFT Rescue Team had to act as quickly as possible before the Abbot had another change of heart.
The rescue team are well experienced in handling all the various species, but have never done them all together on such a scale. After extensive meetings and checking of transportation containers a plan was formulated. The rescue team was then chosen and set off the day before the rescue. Having to navigate through Bangkok meant it took over 7 hours to reach the temple. Once there a final check was made and the team retired to a nearby hotel and prepared for an early start.
Splitting into teams they started sedating the primates first. This was to prevent them getting stressed by lots of strangers working round them. The other team went about restraint those that could prove most problematic first. The wild boar was first. Large and powerful he had the potential to be a challenge. With gentle persuasion and bribed with food he was actually very easy. His skin is in such terrible condition it was like he was desperate to get out of his terrible home.
The goat proved a bit more frisky but once secured was gentle and relaxed. Two porcupines were netted and popped in a cage with ease and the Peafowl quickly followed. The goose was at the gate of his enclosure waiting to be let out so he was quickly restrained along with two of the ducks. The third duck had disappeared but luckily was spotted before the team finished and joined her friends. The Guineafowl was standing over her dead mate when the team visited previously and showed little resistance to leave this hell hole.
The temple was home to many small birds and rabbits. These were caught with minimal stress. Suffering malnutrition they didn’t have the strength to put up much of a fight. The turtle enclosure was drained of its toxic sludge to reveal over 50 turtles of various species. These were quickly placed in padded boxes and loaded with the rest of the menagerie.
It took around two hours to pack and load the animals and the vehicles were rolling by 9am. This was a great achievement by the team and only made possible by thorough planning and efficient management. It helped that the animals seemed to be on our side as was the weather and the traffic.
The first vehicle arrived back and WFFT at 3pm and the last animal placed in his new pen at 5pm. A very long and exhausting day for the team but to end the day watching the wild boar take his first mud bath in many years made it all worthwhile.
Many of the animals have medical problems and the team will begin to work on those once the animals have started to regain some strength. A healthy diet, clean water and freedom to display normal behaviour are on the cards for a few days first.