For the Kind Attention Chief Minister of Goa January 2013 For the Kind Attention of Shri Manohar Parrikar Chief Minister of Goa Subject: The Urgent need for a Wildlife Rescue and Lifetime Care Facility in Goa


John Hicks

Co-opted member of Animal Welfare Board of India

Founder of
International Animal Rescue (Worldwide)
International Animal Rescue Goa
The Primate Trust (UK)
The Primate Trust India

Dear Sir

On the 2nd August 2005 Dr. Sharma (who was the Member Secretary of the Central Zoo Authority at this time) sent a letter to the Chief Wildlife Warden of each State requesting them to establish a Wildlife Rescue Centre. I believe I am right in saying that no action has been taken on this issue. (Appendix 1)

Due to the lack of proper facilities in this State I have taken in, with the written agreement of the State Forestry Department, a number of monkeys that for one reason or another needed urgent and long term care and attention.

Dr. Sharma visited the rescued monkeys at my house in Camurlim and congratulated me on their care saying he had never seen such good care and environmental enrichment anywhere before. I am now holding 39 monkeys that all require lifetime care. I stress these are all being held by agreement with the Goa Forestry Department.

To ensure we continue to provide the best professional care, attention and treatment possible I requested Mr. Jonathan Cracknell BVMS Cert VA Cert Zoo Med MRCVS from London Zoo to visit the facility. He was amazed at the high standards already being provided which he considered some of the best he had seen anywhere in the world. (Appendix 2)

Dr. R. M. Kharb Maj.Gen.(Retd.),AVSM the Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India, has twice stayed at my house and he now tells everyone of importance in animal welfare to come and learn how to care for monkeys at our facility. Furthermore we are confident that the whole board of the Animal Welfare Board of India all support the work we do and the standards we set.

We can also confidently state that the whole board of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations likewise support the work we do and recommend that all animal welfare organisations dealing with monkeys visit our facilities to learn how to properly look after monkeys.

In addition to this we have had primatologists from many countries visit our monkeys and they have all been truly amazed at the care, enrichment and the way they are professionally handled and treated.

Mrs. Maneka Gandhi MP is also well acquainted with our work with primates and has asked for our advice on a number of occasions. I have no doubt that she would give her full support to this proposal.

For 15 years my centre, International Animal Rescue Goa in Assagao, where I employ 6 vets, has frequently and routinely treated a wide range of wildlife including snakes, lizards, birds, injured monkeys, turtles and even deer.

However, International Animal Rescue Goa simply does not have the facilities or space to cope with and provide the right environment for wildlife. For this reason all the monkeys that require care are automatically brought to my house in Camurlim and are cared for by my new charity, The Primate Trust India which was started specifically to look after these wonderful creatures.

We are lucky that in Goa we have probably the best Forestry Department in India and in Richard D’souza certainly the best Chief Conservator of Forests in India.

Despite this with all the good will in the world there is no Forestry Department in India that has the staff with the specialised training and the skills to look after injured and orphaned wildlife. This is a skill that needs a particular form of dedication and ability to handle animals without causing undue stress.

Our facilities, which over the past 7 years have been extensively used, are fast becoming over-crowded and we are at the stage where we cannot handle the increasing range and number of wild animals that need urgent and/or long term care and attention at our facility. We therefore turn to you and the Forestry Department for your kind support and assistance.

We appeal to you to provide sufficient land to build a world class wildlife rescue and lifetime care facility.

My domestic animal rescue centre in Assagao is considered one of the best in India by the Animal Welfare Board of India. If suitable and sufficient land can be provided to the Primate Trust India, which is a registered charity in India, the Primate Trust India will provide the finance to promptly and professionally build and operate the new facility to the highest possible standards.

Such is our commitment that my wife and I are prepared to donate our own property, The Tree House, which I designed and landscaped, to the Primate Trust India. This will ensure that not only are there funds to build the new wildlife rescue facility, but also to ensure its long term financial security. We have also set up The Primate Trust in the UK so we can raise funds for the centre in the UK and leave our UK properties to the Charity.

There is also one more urgent need in India and that is somewhere that monkeys which have been used in vivisection can be taken care of for the rest of their lives. It would be our desire to provide these facilities within the lifetime care facility at the new wildlife rescue centre.

Although under existing legislation, rescued wildlife cannot be put on display to the public we have little doubt that we can also make this new wildlife rescue centre into a major first class world tourist attraction. We can do this by the use of video cameras set up in the various enclosures so that the general public (and others) can view the animals in real time.

By using recorded film that can be edited, interesting, and informative and, most essential, educational talks and presentations can be given at the new wildlife rescue centre and elsewhere around India and the world. This coupled with a first class information centre, gift shop and restaurant would ensure the generation of additional funds for use in ongoing and future wildlife projects.

Another important aspect would be as a training and research facility. We would wish to train people to professionally look after and handle animals in the right way. It would also educate people in the design and maintenance of a facility and most vital of all in the environmental enrichment of the pens, in accordance with the requirements of the individual animal.

Research would be carried out as to the viability of rehabilitating animals, including mammals, birds and reptiles, back to the wild and if possible the best way of doing so. We would also be looking at a range of conservation issues and at ways of eliminating man and wildlife conflict, especially regarding monkeys.

Veterinary excellence would be another important role and we would want to train veterinary doctors in the many specialised skills that are lacking in their normal veterinary training. We would build a state of the art veterinary hospital with x-ray and ultra sound equipment and employ top veterinary doctors in the field of wildlife.

Another important consideration is the opportunity for employment within the State. My centre in Assagao employs over 30 full time staff but we would expect the Wildlife Rescue Centre we propose to employ in the region of 100 staff by the time all the facilities are open.

IAR's Staff and Helpers

Just some of IAR’s staff and helpers.

Because we envisage that we will need space to expand as the centre grows and because we believe the animals should be in large enclosures we are looking for between 30 to 50 acres of land with some tree cover, good road access and a good water supply. Ideally we would need mains electric supply, but if this is not within reach we could use generators.

If there is interest in this exciting ground breaking proposal and you want additional information we would be delighted to provide it.

Thank you for your kind consideration of this proposal.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours faithfully

John Hicks
Founder and Hon.CEO
Primate Trust India

The Tree House Justa Vaddo Camurlim Bardez Goa 403 507

Phone No.: 9552557631


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