I'm off on a another hair-brained scheme......well actually, it's not just me to blame this time...
On the way back from Blackpool, we stopped off at the South Lakes wild animal park.
It will come as no surprise to most people that know me that I love animals, and this place is one of my favourites - started only 11 years ago, it is a very up tp date facility, where the animals welfare and enrichment is paramount.
I sponsor the Red-ruffed lemurs here and love the open enclosure where the lemurs are they just run around you as you walk - and today I bullied Scampi into stroking an Emu.....they are very scary up close, there is something inherantly WRONG about a 5ft bird!
We went for the feeding of tigers at the required time, coz I had seen them climb the telegraph poles to get to the food before and it is amazing. I had forgotten about the quite harrowing talk that is given just before - bless the guide, Gav, I know it all needs to be said, but it IS upsetting and I hadn't warned Scampi about it.
Gav talks about the fact that there are only 300 Sumatran tigers left in the wild and these are under threat from poachers, who kill them to use parts of their anatomy for "cures" which are dubious to say the least.
He shows a snare and tells how it was taken from the corpse of a Tiger in Sumatra.
She had been caught by the painfull snare for up to 3 days and finally, in desperation, had tried to chew her own leg off - she had died in the process.....
This kind of thing always makes me cry, and other than giving a few quid in the collection bucket, I have always felt impotent to do anything more.
However, Scampi felt the same and we started talking about things we could do to make a real difference.
The South Lakes wild animal park runs a trust to help these regal animals, employing rangers to stop the poachers in Sumatra.
When the rangers found the tiger that the snare was taken from, they searched the surrounding area - finding 100 MORE snares - 1/3rd of the poplulation of these tigers could have been killed by these snares - laid by one poacher.
Since that day they have not lost another tiger to the snares, but they need our help - to keep the rangers there, to help conserve the natural habitat of the tigers(thanks to their work a 106,000 hectare site has just been approved for the creation of a peat swamp forest conservation area, specifically for conservation of the Sumatran tiger, close to the city of Dumai in Riau province)
Me and Scampi want to help, and I hope you do too.
We want to try and put a gig on - solely in aid of The Sumatran Tiger Trust.
We currently have access to a PA and lighting rig, and the people to run it,we have a photographer :), we have a few bands in mind (good rock bands and a good mix), and a few venues to contact.
We need EVERYONE to donate their time/talent/equipment for FREE as we want EVERY PENNY to go straight to the trust.
We need YOU to come to the gig!!!
At the moment all I want is feedback, and ideas you have to make this work....
I'll keep you up to date with developments :)
oh and you can view this blog with some lovely pics at http://blog.myspace.com/thundersmurf