What Jamala Wildife Lodge Can Teach Us about Caring.
While staying in total luxury at Jamala Wildlife Lodge, Canberra, Australia we learned a lot that we were not expecting. Jamala Wildlife Lodge has been set up to put money back into the breeding program at The National Zoo & Aquarium. It is to give people an up close and personal experience with the animals, and it is unique. We had a giraffe with us while others shared the rooms with lions, tiger, bears, lemurs, hyenas and sharks.
We did meet many of the dangerous and endangered species on earth, and we did learn that we you could help their survival. We also couldn’t help but care about the plight of these animals.
I don’t pretend to be any type of authority on what is happening with endangered species. All I do know is the experience a Jamala Wildlife Lodge made a big impact on us.
It was a little confronting to hear these things, but it means that what Jamala Wildlife Lodge has set out to do, does work.
So this is my experience, and I have included a list of professional sources so that you can read what more authoritative people are saying.
This is a very significant thing when you realize that many of these animals are fighting for their lives and their survival. I had a person ask me how I can endorse animals caged in a zoo. After my experience here, my answer is; most do not have a home anymore. It is that simple. Deforestation of the animal’s homes is occurring at a rate that defies understanding. The case of palm oil is to make products for us, and is taking away the animals natural habitats. While we would all like to see animals in their natural habitats, if their natural habitats no longer exist, then what is the answer. At least in this environment, where the animals are given more space than in other zoos, and certainly a lot of love and attention, this is better than being dead. They are cared for, and the breeding programs are aimed to help their continued existence.
The Sumatran Tigers and the Malayan Sun Bear.
The two cases that really struck a chord with me were of the Sumatran Tigers and the Malayan Sun Bear. Of course there were many other stories, but it was a positive experience to see what happens here.
The Sumatran Tigers natural habitat is being razed to the ground to make way for palm oil plantations. Palm Oil is found in everyday products, and the demand for it is growing. Lipstick, toothpaste, shampoo, chocolate for goodness sake. Nestle, Cadbury and Mars are among the global confectioners making efforts to source certified palm oil, and that is a start. However, nothing is ever as easy as it appears.
Be the judge yourself, and read the complex issues involved in this. The chocolate companies on the hunt for a sustainable Easter egg
It is this deforestation in Sumatra and Malaysia that is threatening tiger habitat at an alarming rate. Having the tiger at the National Zoo & Aquarium means that he is alive and is part of a breeding program to help with the survival of the species.
The other case that resonated was a Malayan Sun Bear
The Malayan Sun Bear is the smallest among bears. They have become an endangered species because of forests being converted into farmlands and endless poaching.
Many people believe that the Malayan Sun Bear contains medical healing powers. They are poached and are often farmed for their Bile and to grow them to a suitable size to make Bear Paw Soup. Read this, and it will sicken you. Meet Sydney’s sun bear who almost became bear paw soup and The City Where Bear Paw Soup Is What’s for Dinner
The Malayan sun bear is also suffering from deforestation and habitat loss. We met one Malayan sun bear, which has a neurotic rocking back and forth, from being kept in a tiny cage until she was of a sufficient size to become Bear Paw Soup. While she is happier here, with a husband (?) and a daughter, the trauma of her past means the rocking continues.
Go to Jamala Wildlife Lodge for a totally unique experience. Enjoy the luxury because you will, but know that you will come away from this experience with a hell of a lot more. It is a totally positive experience, and one that does make you think and care, and that is the point.
Links and resources
Say No to Palm Oil
Palm Oil APP’s
The world’s first palm oil product barcode scanner app for iPhone and Android places power in the hands of Australian consumers.
Shop responsibly. Use this Palm Oil Shopping App (available in Google Play or the App Store) when you go to the store. Support companies that have joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
Ethical Consumer Palm Oil free list
999 Lady Denman Drive,
Weston Creek ACT 2611 Australia
T +61 2 6287 8444 F +61 2 6287 8403