Project visit Canada: Why we decided against the project
Why visiting (potential) partners on site is so important: This review reveals why we decided against the animal protection project of one of our potential project partners in Canada
At the end of 2016 Daniel was contacted by an animal protection centre in the Canadian province of Ontario that is dedicated to the care of wild animals in need of protection. After the contact was made, our whole team agreed that the project sounded very promising. So in spring 2017 NATUCATE-founder Daniel made his way to North America to take a look at the work on site. In the following review we would like to tell you why exactly this trip showed us how important the personal visits of our projects are.
After Daniel arrived at the International Airport of Toronto he took a rental car to get to the animal protection center that is a few hours north of Toronto. The animal protection center is located very close to nature, is divided in several smaller buildings and provides shelter to numerous wild animals like bears, wolves, coyotes, and raccoons. The volunteers are housed directly on site. The team on site greeted Daniel with a warm welcome, showed him his accommodation, and gave him a walk around the station. The following morning began very early: cleaning out the stables and enclosures, taking care of the equipment – Daniel was introduced to all arising tasks and immediately lent a hand. “The team does great work and there is no doubt that they care for the animals with passionate commitment.”
However, there was one aspect that made Daniel decide against including this project in NATUCATE’s portfolio. “In my opinion, there was a big problem concerning the feeding of some animals. The staff members, but also the volunteers, simply walked into the wolf and bear enclosures while the animals were present and dropped the food there – without any protection. Of course, this is a safety risk. And ultimately, this safety risk isn’t justifiable for NATUCATE.”
Because of the fact that direct contact to wild animals is dangerous for humans, NATUCATE does not offer projects that allow a direct interaction with wild animals. “In the case of the Canada project, this was unfortunate. The station was well constructed, the team was really friendly, and Canada as a location is just wonderful. But the partly missing safety precautions simply don’t match with NATUCATE’s demands. The positive conclusion that I can draw from this experience: again, it became clear to us how valuable and important it is to visit the projects in person on site in order to identify these varying conceptions.”