Cayman artist attends wildlife conference

A dream came true for Tansy Maki this week as she departed Cayman bound for the International Wildlife Rehab Council conference in Toronto.

Tansy has been volunteering in the National Trust Wildlife Rescue and Rehab Program for three years and had planned to attend the conference in 2004. However, when Hurricane Ivan destroyed her home and business she was forced abandon her plans.

Now, back in Cayman, her enthusiasm for her work undiminished, Tansy is finally able to make the trip.

Well-known in Cayman for her striking murals, done with her partner, Paul, Tansy also puts in long hours caring for island bird life and has recently started volunteering with the National Trust’s Bat Conservation Program.

She hopes to bring back not only information from the conference, but make valuable contacts and purchase some much needed equipment for Cayman’s wildlife rehabbers.

The National Trust’s Wildlife Rescue and Rehab Program was initiated by Dr. Brenda Bush at Island Veterinary Clinic and is a partnership with the Humane Society, Cayman Animal Hospital, the C.I. Department of Environment, the C.I. Department of Agriculture, the C.I. Bird Club and numerous private donors.

‘Natural disasters take their toll on wildlife as Ivan showed us last year,’ said Lois Blumenthal, coordinator of the program for the National Trust. ‘Mother nature can be cruel, but most animals come into the program due to traffic, predation by introduced dogs, cats and rats, from colliding with glass windows or electrical wires or other situations that result from human actions.

‘That is why people should take some responsibility in assisting birds and other wildlife to recover from injuries. It requires specialized knowledge and equipment and we are grateful to Tansy for attending this conference on our behalf to bring back the skills and information we need to do our best.

‘We hope to send other volunteers and veterinary personnel to future conferences and that this work will result in an improved recovery rate for our devastated bird populations.’

On the Net:

www.caymanwildlife.org