The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), partners with the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG), recently sponsored sending two local NVADG volunteers to Arunachal Pradesh, India to assist in training locals on technical rescue techniques, so that they may safely climb trees to translocate Gibbon Apes. About 18 families of endangered Hoolock gibbons are stranded in clusters of a few trees due to destruction of their habitat for permanent agriculture in a remote northeast Indian village. A unique rescue operation has been initiated to save these gibbons and move them to a safer and a more secure habitat. Several families have already been rescued and successfully released in Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary. The two Volunteers that NVADG sent are both full-time Firefighters. John Maretti is a career Firefighter with the City of Chico and on their Technical Rescue Team. He has extensive experience nationally in animal rescue deployments during disasters. Matt Wallen is a Captain with Cal-Fire and owns Code 3 Rescue, a technical training school. They travelled to India in December to present a specialized rope rescue class. After the class, they worked in the jungle and assisted with the capture and translocation program.
To work jointly with public and private agencies and organizations in the North Valley to promote the safety and well-being of all domestic animals and farm animals, including wildlife, affected by a disaster with emergency temporary sheltering, evacuation, medical care, identification for reuniting animals with their owners or adopting into good, suitable permanent homes. This will be accomplished by utilizing volunteers who have completed the disaster preparedness training provided by the NVADG, educating governmental and non-governmental agencies and animal owners about the importance of disaster preparedness, and scheduling exercises and disaster drills.
North Valley Animal Disaster Group
PO Box 441
Chico CA 95927-0441