INSTINCT - What a wonderful thing - Cry for help - 21 JANUARY 2006
CRY FOR HELP
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2006 6:54 AM
subject: INSTINCT - What a wonderful thing
Dear All Seal Supporters,
As funding is the bottom-line to all this, perhaps for just one last time, I should ask you to consider the cause of these wonderful Cape Fur Seals - Whilst I and Mumkin take a well deserved nap.
Why donate $500 or $50 in a 10-person group to save and rehab a dying seal at the tip of Africa? As far as I have researched, no time in the history of man's encounter with this species stretching back at least 10 000 years ago, can I find any evidence of a concern for their plight, suffering or individual death. What we are doing, has never been done. This was a specie to kill and harvest, and whose death carried no concern. This factor alone should be enough to motivate, just about anybody, considering their sad history.
But there is another reason. When I started in 1999 to rescue, I encountered a "system or policy" which propagated to all and sundry, that this was a thriving specie of seal, reaching close to 2 million seals, from near extinction less than 100-years ago. This "thriving" species sentiment, was supported by government, scientists, and even the likes of IFAW, WWF, Greenpeace, IUCN, WESSA to name just a few. As these organizations portrayed this scenario, so too did the media, and likewise the public. The number dying or suffering, was unrecorded, un-important, all that appeared important is that the number of pups born continued to grow, until between 1988 and 1994, when the mass deaths of seal pups started occurring, since then all and sundry, has either chosen to continue their "mis-belief" or simply just ignore the issue completely.
So starting in 1999, I encountered two countries policies, which "believed" this species of seal was thriving, with the head scientist at government even stating in the press, "There are no sick and dying seals, what absolute rubbish". Initially I attempted to gain widespread local support, and hoped the good nature of South Africans would respond to this cause. We opened our boat to the public and attempted to "inform", instead I found a situation, where the only real interest in this species, lay in whatever way "they" through me could further exploit it. I found the general public blinded to their suffering even when it was occurring right in front of their eyes. I could foresee society was driving me to a "zoo" or "display" type environment of further exploitation.
So I stopped, and for the next 6 years, decided to fund and save whatever seal I could find using my own funds. Since then, I have saved thousands single-handedly. Initially, I had nothing to save them with, no equipment and no facilities. Soon it became a major battle between whether spending money on saving their life (feed costs) or purchasing equipment to save their life, all the time being harassed, arrested and threatened by government officials.
After 7 years, appearing in over 100 newspaper articles, on all local television programs and radio, as well as being on television in China, Korea, Japan, France, Spain, the awareness created resulted in "5-minute news" and was soon forgotten. Every official avenue was equally pursued, resulting in a new draft being gazetted for the seals as well as an official complaint, in which the Ministry responsible was put to task for Seal Mismanagement of the last few decades. But again, for the seals, little changed.
The more seals I rescued, the less people in general cared. It simple become "my secret". With Cape Fur Seals, everything is seasonal, and each year follows a pattern either of survival or decline. Each morning I wake up, in each new year, I am faced with unbelievable numbers of death and suffering. In December 200 000 new-born babies starve to death in Namibia, and another 40 000 in South Africa wash off islands and die. Then, yearlings in their thousands come ashore and are so abused that they often die, simply from the stress of incorrect handling and caring. Then bulls get shot commercially in Namibia as well as by 30 000 fishermen who are allowed to take guns to sea, and then there are the thousands drowned in anyone of the more than 65 000 trawl nets placed around our coast, where as many as 25 seals can be drowned in a single trawl. Adding to all this is their continued banning for decades from their historical offshore islands, where today only 1% remain.
Then of course there is the issues of just simply surviving in the wild, in an overfished and collapsed fish stock state.
I could walk away and pretend to ignore all this, but I have chosen not to. In the last few months, many of you very generously donated huge amounts, and with these funds, I have been able to properly equip myself, for the first time. Today, I now possibly, have the largest Seal Rescue Fleet in the world, a 6.5 m Pup Rehab boat, two rafts, two jetski's, one high-speed rubber boat, a 4x4 for getting anywhere, an underwater scooter, 2 beach buggy patrol vehicles and a range of wetsuits and drysuits to keep me submerged, day in and day out. In fact, I can now effectively respond and find, any seal needing my help along their 4000 km distribution range along the tip of Africa, spanning two oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian, and three countries, Angola, Namibia and South Africa.
But, I need you. At just $50 once a year or if you can afford the full day's rescue and rehab of $500, I will be able to go out everyday, and seek out and find a dying seal needing our help, whether it is entangled, been shot, starving to death, hurt, injured, abandoned or just simply abused, and care for and love this seal back to good health and it's return to the wild. I can never ever hope to save the more than 300 000 dying each year, in fact, 365 seals a year is just a drop in the ocean, but with you by their side, we can make tremendous awareness.
The purpose of this Seal Rescue-A-Day, is to prevent the "established nature conservation organizations" from disputing the facts, that this species is dying. CC to government officials and policy-makers, the "evidence", of everyday seal rescues will be overwhelming, using the modern tools of the internet, video and power-point shows, I can daily bring the plight and suffering, and lets all please not forget the joy, these wonderful seals at the tip of Africa, can all bring directly into your homes and lives. They have changed my life forever, and I guarantee you, they will do likewise to you.
Without you and me, there is just simply nothing. Turning 43 in March, I just don't know how long, I can keep this up, but before I have to physically stop, we must at least try and record, their un-recorded, ignored and forgotten suffering. We owe it to them. Under these conditions, and yes animals across the world are suffering, and yes each one requires funding, is $50, too much to ask once a year, and if it is, which is understandable, is it then too much to ask you to find a friend to donate. Many of you sit in an office filled with co-workers, I unfortunately spend my time amongst suffering seals, so I desperately need you to be their "voice" and "fund raising arm".
For now we rest - Can you imagine 60 000 of these innocent souls being clubbed to death for their pelts, each and every year
Mumkin in all his splendour and charm
My banking details as follows.
To mail a donation directly to Seal Alert-SA:
HEREWITH IS FURTHER DETAILS FOR BANK TRANSFERS:
ZAR is South AfricanRand
More information to be able to send the money via internet:
SEAL ALERT-SA ACC : 911 2201 321
BRANCH CODE : 632 005
SWIFT CODE : ABSAZAJJ
BANK : ABSA
SA NAT.CLEARING CODE
BIC: (SWIFT-CODE) ABSAZAJJ
Bank name : ABSA
Address : DELPHI ARCH OFFICE PARK, RAATS DRIVE, TABLE VIEW
City/code : TABLE VIEW, 7439
Country : South Africa
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA