What is this?

On the first working Monday of every month (Monday is one of my busiest days) I will donate the daily income of Chocolate Tortoise to a selected charity, and post to this blog detailing the charity chosen. This blog is not intended to tell the world how generous I am. I am less generous than many people. The blog is intended to firstly log who I have donated to, and secondly to hopefully inspire others to do the same, or similar. For more information, see my first post.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

September 2015 - Asian Turtle Program

The chosen charity for September 2015 is the Turtle Conservation Centre in Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam, which is part of the Asian Turtle Program.

I was looking through some old documents the other day and found a spreadsheet containing loads of stuff from our travels in Asia in 2010. Included in this were some notes on charities that we would like to donate to, relating to things we had seen. Most of these we have already donated to, but I realised we hadn't yet given to the Turtle Conservation Centre.

Whilst in Vietnam we spent a couple of nights in the middle of a national park, Cuc Phuong. The park was lovely, the hut we stayed in was basic, and a day trip to a conservation centre that had apes and monkeys in one part, and turtles in another. Both were very good, and the turtle centre had an excellent research and conservation program. Despite the fact that they probably don't receive all that many visitors (we were the only ones there at the time), the place was very welcoming and well presented.

Turtles are not very well looked after in Asia. They are regularly kept in monasteries, restaurants and even homes, and usually many tens or even hundreds are kept in the same small ponds. It's good to see places that strive to help them.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

August 2015 - The Born Free Foundation

The chosen charity for August 2015 is the Born Free Foundation. My original intention was to donate to Care For The Wild International, but this year they merged with the Born Free Foundation, and are now under the single banner.

The merger seems a sensible idea - they have very similar goals, are both based in Horsham and have had close links in the past.

I first came across Care for the Wild International while travelling. We were looking into the local wildlife 'attractions' to visit when in Thailand (Kanchanaburi, to be exact, on the river Kwai), and came across the Tiger Temple, which is a very popular attraction with tourists.

Before deciding to visit it, we did some research on how much of a 'sanctuary' is was for the tigers, and what its animal care credentials were, and came across the Care for the Wild report into the temple:

Which effectively says "don't go there!" as the tigers are very poorly treated and even drugged in order to make them docile for the tourists.

Of course, I didn't just take the report on face value - but it made me do some more investigations and digging online and what I found backed up the findings in the report.

We didn't visit the temple.

It's work like this that directly helps people make ethical decisions while on holiday.

Of course, both charities do excellent work in other areas, but it is good to support one that we have had some direct contact with, however tenuous!

Now I must go back and watch the Born Free film again.....