We’ve all seen the photos and articles of the never-ending decimation of wildlife. We all ache with grief, burn with rage and want so badly to help. But what do you do when it all gets to be too much? I asked some of the activists on the frontlines: “What do you do to de-stress/unwind when it all gets to be too much?”
Allison Thomson from OSCAP “When it really gets to be too much I just go and do some housework, gardening, etc., any hard work to take my mind off other things.”
Damien Mander Iapf, International Anti-poaching Foundation “The major stress in my life is the slaughter of animals across the world. Working hard is my way to tackle that stress.”
“Rhino” Ramorulane, ranger at a rhino sanctuary “I just drink lots of water, and just try to be around people or read books and avoid being alone”
Peter Stewart Rogers DVM at Prolife Veterinary Services in SA “It is very difficult but I get motivated by the few positive things that happen like a poaching syndicate being busted; orphaned rhino calf being rescued; nursing injured/shot rhino back to health; and taking heart from seeing how much public support there is for this anti poaching war !!!”
Ofir Drori, founder of LAGA, Wildlife Law Enforcement “I get my energy from the fight itself. The more I do and the more diverse it is there is always something achieved in the sea of shit for me to get a good nights sleep. Because there are so many diversified fights at least one thing succeeds per day so it feels like swimming in shit, but succeeding in it. Besides that I have my guitar which is a good therapy for all the violence in my soul.”
Margrit Harris-Executive Director at Nikela-Helping People and Saving Wildlife -“For me I need to get involved with some positive stories. I need to read and watch things that restore my faith in humanity and make me believe again. As for unwinding… I personally take long walks, I sit and watch the birds.” Her advice: When your mind is spinning imagine a huge stop sign appearing right in front of you. Then sing an uplifting tune or transport yourself mentally to a happy place. The mind cannot entertain two things at the same time…..
Robert Obrein, KWS, Asst Director of Tsavo East and West – “I call my rangers together( those whose area had been infiltrated) and we console each other and talk of what might have happened and our way forward. I always lay blame on me and not the rangers and this has always worked well in cooling their nerves, and God save the next poacher who comes along. I have been in security since 1992 and I have learned to control blood sugars and many more.