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  wild people: Paolo

I first knew of Paolo when I volunteered as a docent at the Zoo. I was struck by his quiet and deep love for his animal charges, a love shared by many staff and volunteers at the zoo.

I really only got to know Paolo better recently, when he shared the Monkey Island project with me.
I was blown away by the efforts of this group of dedicated people. Called PhiloZoophie, the project group had quietly and tenaciously put together a viable plan to save Pulau Tekukor, one of the larger Southern Islands. Their plan would not only save the Long-tailed Macaques which would otherwise be put down, but also give a new lease of life to this island, which has not been visited for more than a decade.

Monkey Island is a massive undertaking involving a great deal of thought, effort and love. I take my hat of to Paolo and his team, and wish them every success in this mighty endeavour. More about the plan in a recent Straits Times article, and on the PhiloZoophie website.

Here is more about Paolo in his own words ...

How did you first get involved in working for nature in Singapore?
As a veterinarian for the Singapore Zoological Gardens, I have been often asked by the public and the authorities to intervene to assist with wildlife related problems. Unfortunately often it was in situation of wildlife in conflict with human activities.

What do you get out of working for nature?
This is a difficult question as it either sounds clinical or cheesy. The truth is that I fell a deep gratification and that I am a better person whenever I can help animals, this may be in the context of my work as a vet but also as an ordinary person caring for animals and their habitat.

What is your approach/personal motto in your work?
Do what you can with what you have and demand of others to do their part too.

What are some of your current projects?
We are very involved now with the Monkey Island where we are working on offering a humane dignified way out for macaques that have been bannished from their original environemnt. That and my job at the Zoo as well as my part time job at the Temasek Polytech and my intervetions here and there are pretty much keeping me away from other interest such as biological rat control, assisted reproduction technologies in the help of wildlife and biodiversity conservation.

Paolo is 38 going 39 and his daytime job is as Director (Veterinary) Singapore Zoological Gardens and adjunct lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic. He enjoys walking, jogging and cycling the wild side of Singapore. He says "I do that on my own introspectively and with little contact with all kinds of "groups", nothing hostile just a lifestyle choice.
Posted by otterman Posted on 10/08/04 12:01
Met Paolo at the zoo when we brought a conservation class there..oh ages ago. What struck me was the objective and honest manner in which he discussed animal care with the class. He is a very good teacher and the Monkey Island project is so heartwarming.

More on how YOU can make a difference too...

these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
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