Q: What is the Durga Wildlife Fund?

A: The Durga Wildlife Fund is a U.S. 501(C)3 nonprofit charity dedicated to creating sustainable solutions to save endangered species, protect the wilderness, and care for animals in need.

Our motto is: Working Locally Around the World. 

Our broader mission is to foster empathy, compassion, and respect for nature. 

Q: What does “Working locally around the world” mean?

A:  By “Working Locally” we mean small, well-focused programs, that involve and respect local populations in areas where wildlife is threatened.  

We encourage taking care of the problems in our own back yard—which is why we support conservation efforts in our home state of North Carolina—and always listening to those who have local knowledge.

We believe in the power of flexible “bottom-up,”  rather than rigid all-encompassing “top-down” solutions. 

By “Working locally around the world,” we mean supporting these kinds of local conservation programs wherever wildlife is in need. 

Q: Where is the Durga Wildlife Fund located?

A: We are headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Q: What Does the Name Durga Mean?

In Hindu mythology, Durga is a godess of nature, as well as a protector of the good, and a defender against evil.

She is usually seen riding either a lion or a tiger. 

While the Durga Wildlife Fund is a fundamentally secular organization, we believe that Durga is an inspiring symbol of both the power and beauty of Mother Nature, and of the fight to protect her. 

Q: What is a wildlife veterinarian?

A: A wildlife veterinarian treats wild animals, either in the field, such as Dr. Stremme in Indonesia, or at a wildlife clinic.

Some wildlife veterinarians also treat domesticated animals, such as elephants that are used for ecotourism. 

Q: How does the Durga Wildlife Fund help wildlife veterinarians?

The Durga Wildlife Fund works with wildlife veterinarians around the world to develop programs that protect endangered species and care for animals in need. 

We fund programs and send supplies to wildlife veterinarians who rescue and treat animals in the wild. 

For example, we supply harnesses and an electric winch to the wildlife veterinarian in charge of rescuing lions who fall into wells near the Gir Forest in India. 

We support mobile wildlife veterinary ambulances in Indonesia and Thailand. These programs not only help treat elephants, and other wild animals, but are also used to train veterinary students in wildlife medicine. 

We support a ring vaccination program with Dr. Illona Otter of WVS India around Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nanu, India. 

Q: What is a Ring Vaccination?

A ring vaccination is an attempt to vaccinate domesticated, stray, and feral animals—against diseases that can be spread to wild animals—everywhere in the areas that surround a wildlife refuge, such as a national park. 

Q: What is a mobile veterinary ambulance?

A: A mobile veterinary ambulance is a jeep or other vehicle that allows veterinarians, veterinary students, and their assistants to treat wild animals in the wild, or domesticated animals (such as elephants used for ecotourism) where they live. 

For animals such as elephants, that are extremely difficult to transport to fixed veterinary clinics, mobile ambulances are essential. 

They can also be used to identify and transport injured animals (such as this  sun bear in Indonesia) to clinics where they can be treated, and then to transfer recovered animals back to the wild, where they are released. 

Q: What is “TNR”?

A: TNR stands for Trap Neuter, and Return. It is the most effective and humane way of controlling feral cat populations. Feral cats are trapped, then taken to a veterinarians’s office where they are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and treated for any injuries. Then they are returned to their home ranges. This prevents a population explosion, and also helps protect the colony and other animals from diseases.

Q: Why does the Durga Wildlife Fund support programs for endangered species such as elephants and tigers in Asia,  but also support TNR programs in the U.S.A.?

A: We believe that there are several practical reasons for supporting both programs that focus on feral animals as well as programs that focus on wild and endangered animals.

• Working with feral cats and dogs gives volunteers and veterinary students a chance to work with animals that are semi-wild and may not be used to human contact.

• Keeping feral cat and dog populations under control helps protect birds and other wild prey species.

• Vaccinating feral animals helps prevent diseases that can be spread to wild populations.

• Bringing TNR volunteers into a conservation network helps spread knowledge and awareness about wildlife and endangered species.

Q: How can I help Durga?

A:  •  Spread the word: share our programs on social media;

      •  Use our contact form and let us know about a great conservation effort in your area;

      •  Donate to Durga;

      • Buy from our Bonfire Store.

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