“A” for Monday as in “Action for Wildlife”, a wild animal rehabilitation and care center in Thessaloniki. Best well-known in Greece as, “Δράση για την Άγρια Ζωή” (Dhrasi ghia tin Aghria Zoi). This organization was built by volunteers who are passionate about the environment in concern with Northern Greece’s wildlife. For 20 years they have been doing this crucial work due to the Greek state lack of support and funding for its wild life services. For more details, visit their website HERE. Facebook Page HERE.
How did I end up encountering this organization? Thanks to my friend whom I met in an Anime Party in Thessaloniki because she introduced me to it. In one of our conversations, I mentioned that I am into animal voluntary works and she recommended “Action for Wildlife”. This Monday, I finally visited the place where the animals were kept. It was in the building of Micropolis at Venizelou & Vas. Irakleiou 18 st. and in the heart of Thessaloniki city.
At the moment, Micropolis offers a nursing haven for sick and abandoned wildlife animals. I saw that most of them were birds and then, there were injured turtles, too! The volunteers who help maintain this place and care for the animals everyday, were experts in the field of veterinary medicine, biology, and other sciences – to non-experts like my friend (who is an engineering student) and there are more of them. Basically, anyone can become a volunteer; expertise in animal care is NOT a prerequisite. BUT its required that one loves animals, respects them, and ready to take the responsibility to care for them until they return to the wilderness. Is it an easy task? Yes in words, but in reality it needs eagerness, courage, and determination to do the action. Plus perhaps, in my opinion – someone that has no allergy to our feather-friends. Y^_^Y
On Monday evening (that time in spring where the sun is still up at 7pm), I went with my friend to go to KTEL station. (KTEL is an intercity bus service in Greece.) The task given to my friend was to fetch an injured bird from Evrou. While waiting, I listened to her stories about her experience with the organization. She said that everyone there were hardworking people and animal lovers. As of now, they need more volunteers. So she was happy that I was interested and assured me that I don’t have to worry because I will be taught about many things on how to take care of the animals – especially feeding them. She mentioned that the wild birds came from different provinces of Northern Greece, like Serres, for example. They were sent by the people who found these injured/abandoned animals in the forest. Because of the distance & expensive gasoline, not everyone can go to Thessaloniki by car to deliver them to the org. So thankfully the KTEL buses were there. Though not all the time the deliveries come free. Yet, people’s heart prevail in order to have these animals get proper care. That’s why today, we got a box that contained an injured bird. After we got it, we returned to Micropolis. From here, I had the privilege to attend their weekly meeting. It was an interesting one. Although I had to ask my friend to translate the conversation. I learned that they will have summer activities and it caught my attention about their problem concerning the banner because of the sick designer. I couldn’t sit silent so I offered my assistance. I talked to one of the volunteers and she will e-mail me the info and her sample design to look at. I only made banner designs up to 4 feet and they want something like 6 feet (or more). This is challenging. I will have to look for advice from old friends regarding it. During the meeting also, I asked if I can take photos of the organization’s place and the wild animals that are being cared to put-write on my blog here. I had to tell them my reasons and they approved of it that’s why you see this post. Thank you very very much! 🙂
The photo below are the animals I managed to take photos only. There’s a juvenile hawk and seagull, then some smaller specie of birds I do not know in English (nor Greek! I am ashamed of this, really…) OH wait, I think I see 3 young crows?
About their place in Micropolis. “Action for Wildlife” was located on the 3rd floor of the building. There was no elevator but the stairs don’t have hundred steps, so it was fine and expect a light climbing activity. On the floor, I saw 2 rooms used by the organization. The biggest one was used for housing-nursing the wild animals; the other was the office. The housing-nursing area were filled with cages and boxes where the animals were kept. The volunteers utilized the little space they have and managed to put an inspection and feeding preparation tables. In my interview with my friend, I learned that they need materials for maintenance and health care. I told her I’ll do what I can like collect boxes, newspaper, containers and bring them in my next visit. She mentioned that latex gloves instead. She reminded me to check the org’s website for more information. So I did, and here are the supplies they need most:
You can find these in a pharmacy
Sterilium antibacterial solution
Syringes 0,5ml, 1ml,2,5ml,5ml,10ml,20ml,60ml
Needles (without syringes 24g and 21g)
Fluid administration devices
Fluid solutions (Normal Saline, Lactated Ringer’s, Dextrose 5%)
Latex gloves (single-use)
You can find the following only in veterinary shops
Elastic bandages (e.g vet flex 7,5 cm and 5cm)
Absorbable sutures 2/0 and 3/0 with needle
Oesophageal tubes for force-feeding (size 18 CH)
Fish (preferrably small fish)
Kittens’ development dry food
Seeds for canaries
Or you can DONATE .
By being a listed member of the org, you can also help financially. You have to pay 30€ annually. For starter, you have to add 10€ so you deposit 40€ to the bank instead of 30.
The other way to help is through Adoption, where you give 50€ annually. More info HERE.
As this post is getting longer – and harder to write for me, I will disclose it with one of the gentlest creatures on the planet – turtles. I really feel sorry about the bandaged turtle, though. Its shell was accidentally cut by a weed cutter’s razor. Thankfully it was brought to the organization for medical care and its currently recupperrating.
The empty syringe you see on the right, was used to feed the birds. A paper is attached on each cage and they contain the information regarding the rescued animal. I really like it that it’s organized despite of their small area. But in my honest opinion, this place is not suitable for everyone. Foremost, there is no proper air ventilation. I have to admit, as much as I admire the people who work there, I also worry about their health. The next issue I wanted to mention will be so obvious that my friend told me it’s going to change soon. She meant, “Action for Wildlife” will eventually move to a much bigger, proper, and nicer area – away from the city of Thessaloniki. I am very excited for this and look forward to see it happening!
Good luck “Δράση για την Άγρια Ζωή”organization! Bravo! Your work is demanding, yet its a vision made come true. May we find more people on earth that have hearts and will like yours. You make a difference!
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
– John Wooden –