Pijal Community Project Sacha Warmikuna
This pandemic has hit us all in different ways, some worse than others, but it is exactly now that we need to stand tall, reach out and support one another. New times, new goals and a new way of living is what awaits us; it’s time to grow, teach, change, dare and give. For this reason, Adventure Journeys began searching for alliances in our country, alliances that will help expose a different reality, the Ecuadorian one. We have had the pleasure of meeting entrepreneurs, and above all, people who love what they do. Please join us as we tell you about one of our projects in the enchanted Galápagos islands. It is common knowledge that the Galápagos Islands are a true natural wonder, where you can go snorkeling in ancient lava tunnels and strolling on white sandy beaches, listening to a sea lions’ concert in San Cristobal, and walking amongst the Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat. However, did you know that there is another side that most travelers are unaware of?
A survey in 2018 found that the suspected population of domestic dogs on Santa Cruz island alone was 3,886, an increase of 55% from 2014. There is currently no data to indicate the number of cats present within the urban areas. The domesticated animal population is continuing to grow across the islands, which can result in predation, competition, encroachment, and disease transmission to the endemic wildlife of the islands. Appropriate veterinary care and education is critical to prevent this.
When Fatima moved to Galapagos in 2016, she realized very quickly that the animal protection and conservation on Galapagos counts only for the beautiful wild animals but not for the introduced domestic ones; so, in February 2016 she rescued Shanty, a small puppy wondering alone the streets of Galapagos.
It was clear from then on what became her passion and dream: to help and rescue the mistreated, unwanted and abandoned animals in need. Fatima and her husband started sharing their home with stray animals, mostly dogs, however you can find some: pigs, cats, ducks and even a rooster. Their dream is a future with more education about pets in Galapagos and much more responsibility from the pet owners, and, in a near future, building all the necessary infrastructure to be able to keep on rescuing more animals in need.
The Galápagos Animal Doctors (Pan Animalia Galápagos) is a veterinary program that aims to promote animal health and welfare through the services it provides at its veterinary clinic in Puerto Ayora.
Set up by Dr. Benjamin Howitt and Dr. Erika Medrano, the objectives of this project include promoting sterilization and vaccination, community engagement, education, and training the next generation of veterinarians.
Whereas the core to their mission is to provide accessible and professional veterinary care to the growing number of animals on the Galápagos, a conflict arises between these animals and the endemic wildlife in the Galápagos’ fragile ecosystem. This has made the importance and need of population management through sterilization very visible. The Galápagos Animal Doctors team are there to support and collectively aid existing government programs to tackle this.
Pan Animalia Galápagos is currently in the process of being registered as a local foundation in the Galápagos islands. This foundation will be responsible for the Galápagos Animal Doctors Clinic and will be supported by us, a local operator & the first one to do so, plus two international foundations, the Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) and Pan Animalia UK.