Ayla of Barcelona, Spain decided to participate in our vet program after following Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center’s work for three years.
Ayla was drawn to Rescate’s hands-off approach to rehabilitating animals. But what does this mean?
Hands-On Approach To Working With Animals
Some rescue centers allow visitors or interns to pet the animals, or to touch them when it is not medically necessary. However, this approach can be detrimental to a wild animal’s rehabilitation. When wild animals come into contact with humans, they may become too tame or accustomed to human attention, food, and voices.
In the wild, an animal that seeks human care may not be able to provide for itself, or may trust the wrong human.
While we understand that people find these animals cute, human contact can harm an animal in the long run!
Rescate’s Hands-Off Approach
Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center takes a hands-off approach. For example, our interns do not hold baby monkeys.
We may employ other techniques like encouraging another monkey to hold a baby monkey, or using heating devices to keep a monkey warm.
It is very normal to want to hold a cute, baby monkey. But as we rehabilitate animals, we must consider the best course of action for the animal in the long run.
Is there a noticeable difference?
After experiencing both approaches, what does Ayla think of hands-off rehabilitation?
“The animals maintain their character…they are much wilder, happier, and they make better use of enrichment,” she said. “You really feel that the work you are doing is worth it.”
***written by volunteer Lisa Martens