Tam and Rod Cassidy opened Sangha Lodge to tourism in 2009, part of a 640km2 concession that includes extensive areas of natural habitat (mainly near intact primary semi-evergreen rain forest), The area is classified as “protected area” and borders the Dzanga Sangha National Park, a world heritage site.
With their love and unfathomable knowledge for nature and animals, Tamar and Rod soon became a first point of call for injured, sick or orphaned animals of all kinds, such as Blue duikers, Brush-tailed Porcupines, Servaline Genets, Long snouted Cusimanse and pangolins.
Beginning of Pangolin Rescue
Rescue of several wild animals at the
lodge began with a series of events which led to them being “soft released”
into the forest surrounding the lodge. In April 2014 a first, very young, white-bellied
pangolin was brought in and from that moment conservation work on pangolins
began. Since then, more than 97 pangolins (white and black-bellied) were
rescued from the bushmeat market and confiscations. They were provided with
basic health care and released into their natural habitat as soon as possible.
In 2015, 2017 and 2018 respectively, three young black-bellied Pangolins were successfully raised to adults and released into the forest. They are monitored daily by a team of Ba´aka trackers ("pygmy" forest people), mainly to protect them from poachers, but also to gather very valuable information about their mostly unknown ecology (behaviour, food preference, home range etc.).
Sangha Pangolin Project
Sangha Pangolin Project was officially registered as a research project within CAR
With the generous support of private donations, a small veterinary clinic, laboratory and a pangolarium were built allowing basic animal diagnostics, care and a soft release program. The funds allowed for the employment of local communities as pangolin trackers for the research program.
Start of the volunteer program with a minimum of a 6 months internship.
The beginning of the awareness and sensibilisation program with activities and presentations in the local villages and interviews on the local Radio Ndjoku station