A Tiger of a Different Kind

TEA FOR TIGERS FUNDRAISER

At International Marine Volunteers (IMV) when we hear the word TIGER we immediately think about the majestic tiger shark… a nocturnal predator with a blue-grey body and dark stripes resembling the coat pattern of a terrestrial tiger.  This beautiful shark is also known as the Sea Tiger and eats a large variety of prey.  This time around, however, when we spoke about tigers it was all about the terrestrial species instead.

The IMV programme is all about sharks, whales, dolphins, seabirds and the conservation of the ocean but we do love all sorts of animals too, so we recently got involved in helping to raise funds for Arabella and Raise, two tigers rescued by Panthera Africa, a big cat sanctuary situated nearby that we often visit if the weather is too rough for us to go out to sea.

These two tigers were rescued from a bone trade farm where they would have had an untimely death and their bones sold to markets in Asia to make potions and aphrodisiacs.  Panthera’s aim is to give these tigers the love and respect they deserve and to live out the rest of their lives in a peaceful, enriched enclosure where they are free to run and play at will.  Arabella has already had a much-needed eye operation and the funds raised will help to construct a large platform and a dam as tigers just love to swim! Remaining funds will be used towards buying a huge freezer to store meat for all the animals at the center and, as these cats also need to be kept busy, some funds will also be used to buy enrichment toys.

Raise, so-named in order to raise awareness for tigers [Photo credit – Panthera Africa]

The fund raising event was called “TEA FOR TIGERS”, and people from all over the world hosted tea parties on this day to raise funds.  At IMV we sold some speciality cupcakes at our local shopping centre and held a raffle with awesome prices. 1st prize was a whale-watching trip for two with our sister company Dyer Island Cruises, 2nd prize was an educational trip for two to Panthera Africa and the 3rd prize was a behind-the-scenes tour at our African Penguin and Seabird Centre, where IMV volunteers help out every day.

We even had our own little mascot, and with help from him we also managed to secure a donation of a cow (!) and a smaller freezer to keep store meat for the jackals at the sanctuary.

Our heart-melting mascot, Zayne <3

The volunteers held their own “Tea Party” at the IMV Center and had a lot of fun!  We had some prizes sponsored from our local community and they were raffled for the volunteers.  We had pizza’s, t-shirts, a handbag, ladies watch, and a horse riding excursion.

All-in-all this was a great day and an awesome way of showing people that we care about more than just the marine environment!

‘May the choices you make today be forever in Earth’s favour.’ –SBCCQ

Three generations of animal-lovers – Marié Botha from IMV and her daughter and grandson, Liezel and Zayne Middleton

Marié Botha, IMV Administrator

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