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remembering our history to prepare for our future
Working at IFAW, I see firsthand the grueling efforts that go on behind the scenes of animal rescues. I hear about my colleagues’ experiences collaborating with government officials and I meet incredible people who are motivated to create a better future for their local communities and native wildlife.
I’m fortunate to have a career that connects me to conservation initiatives and keeps me in the know, but for the general public, this isn’t the case.
With so much going on in the news these days, it can be difficult to stay aware of wildlife current events. And all too often, these stories get lost and animals are forgotten.
With IFAW’s 50th anniversary around the corner, I can’t think of a better time to highlight our organization’s history and the impact we’ve had on animals over five decades. Brian Davies founded IFAW in 1969 with the mission of ending Canada’s commercial seal hunt. Since then, we’ve grown into a global organization that works with local communities around the world to rescue animals in need and develop new solutions to conservation’s biggest challenges.
But how do we celebrate 50 years of individual animal rescues, groundbreaking research, and conservation victories that have changed the world?
Teaming up with my colleagues Tiff deGroot and Alex Mejia-Johnson, I accepted the challenge and dove into the archives. Browsing through first person narratives and news reports, we were amazed by IFAW’s involvement in some of the world’s biggest conservation moments.
Here are just a few:
1974 - IFAW conducts research on the endangered Mediterranean monk seal, leading to the creation of Greece’s monk seal network
1996 - IFAW opens the Pan Yu Bear Sanctuary in China and provides a home for bears rescued from the horrors of bear bile farms
2000 - IFAW helps rescue, rehabilitate, and release over 20,000 African penguins affected by the MV Treasure oil spill
2008 - IFAW responds to a mass stranding of melon-headed whales in Madagascar and studies what ends up being the first documented mass stranding caused by ocean noise
These stories need to be told. They need to be remembered and celebrated.
I can’t think of a better time than now to highlight these stories. As we count down the days to our 50th anniversary, we’re publishing a new quiz question every morning that highlights IFAW’s greatest conservation moments.
Our quiz allows you to not only test your general animal knowledge, but also learn about IFAW’s history and the ways we continue to push boundaries.
We all carry the responsibility to care for our planet and respect the animals around us. My hope is that our #50to50 quiz opens your eyes to the world of conservation and encourages you to get involved. Whether it’s by watching the news more closely, following IFAW on social channels, or making sustainable adjustments to your daily life, we all have the ability to make a difference and support one another on this journey to a better world for people and animals.
-- Kaila Ferrari, IFAW Digital Marketing Coordinator
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