24 May 2007

Our Heroes

You can read a report from our local Animal Shelters' vets (from Holland), Rogier van Leeuwen and Kim Schriek, at this link. In the link, Rogier, in his own words, tells the story of how they came to Tiruvannamalai to work at the town's new shelter. Sadly Kim and Rogier will be leaving Tiruvannamalai and India in 2-3 weeks and returning back to work assignments at their native place.

In a very short time both Kim and Rogier have made many friends; both animal and people and both varieties will be sad to see them go. They have also contributed to the quality of life and joy of many creatures they have met through their work and time here.

The monkeys in the below photograph have everything to be thankful for to our young vets. Kim and Rogier, tired and exhausted on a hot summer's day were returning to their humble country cottage after a morning's busy and hectic surgery at the Animal Shelter, when they noticed a commotion at the side of the road. As Kim thought she saw a monkey's head peeping amongst the legs of the crowd she and Rogier stopped to look. Lo and behold there were three captured young bonnet macaque monkeys imprisoned in a makeshift cage.

Quickly the crowd around the monkey's cage grew bigger and rowdier. Rogier had the presence of mind to understand that he needed allies that could speak Tamil and help him deal with the situation. He called the Forest Department and asked them to send a representative to help in the situation. The Forest Department, concerned at the illegal capture and imprisonment of the monkeys sent two burly fellows to assist our two vets from Holland.

The man responsible for the monkey capture told the Forest Department officials that he had been told that the monkeys were becoming a nuisance in town and he had been called to capture and release them into a decent, deserted forest. No-one in authority believed his story, and even if they did, his act was completely illegal and all four of the monkeys' saviours were determined to ensure their liberation.

Kim and Rogier recount that the crowd number grew to nearly 50 people and started to get increasingly rowdy and ugly. In the interests of the immediate safety for both monkeys and vets, the Forest Department quickly released the monkeys, who immediately scampered away. Our two heroes from Holland, taking the suggestion from the Forest Department representatives, also quickly departed. Our heroes jumped on their bike and returned home to their country cottage for a much deserved rest. And a very successful morning it was too!

In the below photograph Kim is hand feeding some young puppies. Thankfully a more peaceful and less threatening chore than rescuing monkeys from an unruly mob!

Below is Rogier, Kim's significant other. He definitely seems to have captured a puppy's heart. Its so nice to have such dedicated veterinarians working here at our new Animal Shelter. The Tiruvannamalai Shelter is under the aegis of: http://www.karunasociety.org/ A brilliant society contributing much to the improved quality of life and welfare of many creatures.

Below we seem to have a shy Mum who seems more interested in having a chat with Kim rather than taking care of her young pup. But the distraction was only momentary and dog Mum turned out to be a dedicated and loving care giver to her young pup.

In the below photograph we seem to have a young dog that certainly seems to understand that he is under a considerable protective field. Oh yes! No-one can get me here; safe at last!

Even though the care, attention, and medical expertise exhibited by our young heroes at the Tiruvannamalai Animal Shelter, is exemplary; their attention to detail could sometimes be considered 'unstructured'. And in the below photograph we seem to be witnessing a true 'dog fight' between dogs and various items of clothing and bath towels. Whoops!

So its sleepy time and here is a lucky dog, loved, warm, protected with tummy full, having a nice nap. Its so nice to witness the beginning of a shift in consciousness towards the welfare and care of animals in Tiruvannamalai. Previously there was no where dogs and domestic animals could be awarded sanctuary and/or receive medical treatment. Times are certainly getting better.

Good night sleepy head; you can finish off your rice pudding when you wake up. All that remains for you to do is have your sweet dreams of chasing cats!

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