New sanctuary for rescued wildlife

New sanctuary for rescued wildlife
(Above) Mr Kalaivanan Balakrishnan of Acres introducing Kanmani, an iguana, to its new temporary home at the Wildlife Rescue Centre on Thursday.

A new sanctuary for rescued wildlife built entirely by volunteers opened its doors on Thursday, with 46 animals including Indian star tortoises, Giant Asian pond turtles and a green iguana being given shelter.

Located at the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society's (Acres') Wildlife Rescue Centre in Jalan Lekar, the 300sq m outdoor sanctuary has 10 enclosures for reptiles like tortoises and iguanas.

Mr Louis Ng, executive director of Acres, said the sanctuary was built over the past six months by more than 100 volunteers using donated materials such as concrete and wooden planks.

Previously, rescued animals were housed in the indoor quarantine facility until they were well enough to be released into the wild.

Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee, who was guest of honour at the event, said: "(The volunteers) are taking action to realise the passion that they have."

They were not just championing a cause verbally or online, but getting their hands dirty, he noted.

Construction of the sanctuary was based on a written plan, with the volunteers supervised by Acres staff. The enclosures will allow animals access to shelter and food such as buttercup flowers, which is a favourite of rescued Indian star tortoise, Big Momma.

Founded in 2001, Acres is a Singapore-based charity advocating an end to animal cruelty in Asia. It opened its Wildlife Rescue Centre in 2009, and has since come upon more than 3,000 wild animals in Singapore such as bats, birds and pangolins.

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