The story of 2 endangered small claw Otters “procured” from an illegal wildlife market in Indonesia by Rebecca Rodriguez and her “expert team members” of One Animal World, one of whom is a supposed “Otter expert of 15 years” – Dr Dan Allen – who transported these 2 Otters in small cages, took them to their hotel room where they showered with and petted them under fluorescent lighting!
It honestly doesn’t get more unprofessional and ridiculous than this. Anyone with any wildlife experience knows there are key elements which come into play when dealing with any exotic animal and specifically : (a) endangered species – it is highly illegal to purchase or capture these animals (b) wildlife handling – animals should be kept in a confined, dark space with minimal human contact to avoid death from stress and (c) feeding guidelines – each animal has specific dietary needs (d) contamination risks, use gloves and masks – Oftentimes animals are diseased and carry vectors that can be transmitted to humans (zoonosis).
This purported “rescue” of these 2 Otters couldn’t get much worse. And Rodriguez and her team would have you believe they are wildlife experts and specifically Indonesia-based wildlife experts and have formed a “watchdog group”!
Clearly, these 2 Otters were “procured” for the film opportunity they presented because had there been any professional, rational discussion about the points highlighted in the previous paragraphs, the expert team would have immediately alerted Indonesian authorities to the location and situation of the Otters. Not purchased them in violation of CITES and Indonesian law!
Rebecca Rodriguez also used these 2 little Otters to raise funds in her official GoFundMe campaign for the “starving Sun Bears of Bandung Zoo” http://www.gofundme.com/sunbearsindonesia in direct violation of GFM’s terms and conditions as her fundraiser continually “morphed” over time to encompass a whole host of animals and issues Indonesia-related! (The beneficiary may not be changed at any time.)
Even one of Rodriguez’s “expert team members” – Google and Wikipedia aficionado and zealot – P Holmes (P Ooi Holmes, Pohyee Ooi Holmes, Poo Holmes, Poop Holmes) subsequently (many months later) even addressed the issue of the high probability of diseases and “zoonosis” (a disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals) in animals from illegal wildlife trafficking markets, yet Rodriguez and her team “procured” these 2 Otters and then took them back to their hotel where they were showered with and petted by various team members!
After the “wonderful film” on the “rescue of the 2 Otters” produced by “Lucky Head Films” (aka Rebecca Rodriguez) a request for additional donations for the “2 Otters” via her GoFundMe fundraiser were put out – but they were ultimately dumped at Wanicare Foundation who had no choice but to accept them into their sanctuary.
Lucikly, at Wanicare they were quarantined but they died just 2 days later! From serious diseases!
Then of course the biggest issue is probably by “procuring” these 2 Otters from an illegal wildlife market and supposedly giving them “a better life”, you have encouraged the wildlife trafficker to simply go out and capture more endangered species! For every animal “captured” from the wild, there are usually several more who die in the process eg the mother is often killed and the cubs removed.
The question of disease is also a critical one to address. Wild otters (and other animals) are often carrying ticks and this may have implications for vector-borne diseases, which can infect humans and their companion animals. There are literally hundreds of diseases which can infect otters (and in this case, did – and the otters died). This is yet another reason we are told to NEVER purchase a wild animal at an illegal wildlife market but immediately alert the relevant Indonesia-based law enforcement agency governing wildlife and in this case, endangered species to deal with the matter.
Rebecca Rodriguez and “her team of experts” did EVERYTHING POSSIBLE, WRONG! And they committed multiple criminal offences by trading in endangered species!
This is the “team of experts forging ahead for change to Indonesian’s animals and forming an “inspiring and educated” coalition!”