Saving strays - and our planet

Local | Georgina Noyce 11 Jun 2019

Reading the latest news from Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Gardens, it was one of the many times when contradictory emotions swept through me.

The number in the press release - 50,000 - is amazing when translated into animals rescued, saved or rehomed, but it is also heartbreaking when you realize that same number means so many animals needed the help of this charitable organization.

That amazing number is a happy thought as KFBG prepares to release the rescued Burmese python (Python bivittatus) back into the wild, in a safe location in one of our many country parks.

Found lost and in danger in an industrial estate, the elegantly marked young python is non-venomous and internationally protected, so when rescued by the police it was naturally passed to the acknowledged experts in exotic, rare and protected species. Snakes usually get bad press in citified Hong Kong, but this particular species is a much needed part of the biodiversity that a healthy food chain needs to develop and thrive.

Humans can't continue to wipe out other species at such an alarming rate, because while we are the top of the food chain, we need that chain for our own survival, so guarding the small things, whether butterfly or snake, is essential to our own survival.

KFBG came into being more than 60 years ago as a way of supporting subsistence farming in the region and it is now 25 years since the protection of nature, flora and fauna became such a much-needed part of our system through the same group.

The fact that this most recently rescued snake hit such a high number in the story of KFBG is testament to this amazing collection of people's dedication to rescue and conservation.

We can't all know how to rehabilitate an endangered species into its natural habitat, but we can find out through KFBG's website and many events and programs, what we can do to make sure that the next 50,000 rescued wildlife gets a fair chance to survive.

Whether we attend a lecture and learn where the python fits into our lives, or donate time or money to help this group carry on its work, making conservation part of our lives can only improve the world we all live in - after all, it is the only planet we have - at least at the moment.

is an equestrian judge, and has a menagerie of adopted four-legged waifs and strays.

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