Written by Phay Po Lin
One leisurely Saturday morning, a group of alumni went behind the scenes at ACRES Wildlife Rescue Centre (ACRES). The sun, the greenery and the wildlife were a welcome sight away from the concrete jungle.
We were greeted by an ACRES volunteer who briefed us on the general environment and safety procedures. As soon as the tasks were listed, one group gamely volunteered to clean up the rooftop area of the classroom.
Equipped with gloves and tools, we headed to the backyard for the clean-up. We took turns sawing, transporting the logs to the dumping area and picking up fallen leaves and twigs. In the midst of our hands-on activities, we were delighted to discover wild cherries and lovely snails in the backyard.
Despite our being together for the first time, we had great teamwork and accomplished our mission together.
At lunchtime, each of us received a bento lunchbox with the vegetarian version of our all-time local favourite – chicken rice. Even those of us who are not vegetarian found it amazingly palatable. We then learnt that volunteers are discouraged from consuming meat within the ACRES premises, as a form of respect to the animals.
After lunch, we visited the enclosure where animals such as abandoned tortoises and macaques were kept. Much as we were tempted to touch the animals, we were not allowed for our safety.
Taking part in this event allowed us to gain an insight into the contributions of animal rescue volunteers. Their compassion and commitment to rescue and protect wildlife are indeed admirable.
Nature is a happy place to be and many of us enjoyed soaking in the greenery and the morning of good vibes. We look forward to visiting ACRES again.
Ms. Lim Li Ping, alumna from the Class of 2018 Bachelor of Human Resource Management programme, has this to say:
“This is a unique experience as I have the chance to climb onto the roof to prune overgrown branches from a nearby tree. It is a physical workout sawing the branches short and as far away from the roof as possible. I didn’t know that roof cleaning would be so tough, even though it’s just sweeping the dried wet leaves down the roof. Mr. Lester brought us around and shared some tips on handling bats if we see them lying around the floor. Lastly, we managed to see some turtles and some were really huge. It’s a wonderful experience and I will recommend others to volunteer with ACRES.”
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