WE COULDN’T MAKE IT THIS YEAR… BUT WE WILL COME BACK STRONGER!
With this letter we want to inform you about a project that we have not been able to carry out, such as sending uniforms and other equipment from Barcelona Zoo workers to the annual meeting of the federation of rehabilitation centres and primate sanctuaries, PASA (Pan African Sanctuary Alliance). But at the same time, we want to share with you the solution that has come from the transport company in which we trust this task, FEDEX.
SOS Primates is a non-profit organization that wants to publicize the delicate situation faced by primates in the areas where they live and to contribute to their welfare and protection. It is formed by a team of volunteers from the world of primatology, animal welfare and conservation and its main objective is to help Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre (CRPL), in the Democratic Republic of Congo, assisting, when possible, to other primate sanctuaries.
Barcelona Zoo collaborates with several of these centres, like CRPL, through the scholarships awarded by its Foundation, aimed at the conservation, research and reintroduction of endangered species.
As we did last year with the shipment of five pallets (650 kg) to the annual PASA meeting in Sierra Leone, this year the objective was to send a pallet (150 kg) to South Africa, to provide the caregivers of PASA member centres with clothes and work equipment so that they can carry out their daily tasks at the centres, such as cleaning and disinfection of the facilities or food preparation.
The initiative emerged from zoo keepers and educators from Barcelona Zoo linked to SOS Primates, and the equipment consists of trousers, shirts, polo-style sweaters, raincoats and boots. The material is sent properly inventoried, after having gone through a process of inspection, cleaning and packaging. It is a great help, since the expenses of PASA members haven’t cease to increase with the arrival of new primate confiscations.
The reason for sending the goods to the annual meeting point of all the African sanctuaries is because the material could be redistributed there, and our impact will be bigger among the different centres belonging to PASA.
But at this point, when the merchandise was already in South Africa, we were informed that there had been a change of legislation and that our merchandise could not enter the country, because it was not brand-new clothing. After weeks of pressing, sending letters supporting our work from Barcelona Zoo, PASA, and others, they notified us that they would proceed to destroy the pallet because it could not enter the country. You cannot imagine the frustration that we went through, after so much effort.
Fortunately, we had FEDEX support and they offered us to bring our merchandise back to Spain with no cost to SOS Primates.
We would like to thank the volunteers of SOS Primates for their hard work, their time and effort spend on this project, as well as we want to thank Barcelona Zoo for its cession of material and its laundry services, to Lionsrock South Africa team (everyone, but specially to Yvonne), to thank PASA helping to unblock the situation, and we would also like to thank FEDEX for their logistical support.
We are already working to make the shipment again to the new destination where PASA’s 2020 meeting of African primate rehabilitation centres will be held, in this case, in Malawi.