Founder of an Egyptian Wildlife Conservation Group Travels Abroad Offering Her Expertise
Mai Gawad Hamada, the President of the Alexandria Turtle and Wildlife Rescue Team, has just announced that she will be traveling abroad as part of the US Embassy in Cairo and the American State Department program to combat wildlife trafficking and enhance conservation techniques.
The International Visitors Leadership Program Combating Wildlife Trafficking (IVLP) will include Hamada as well as nine other additional representatives from other countries, including Finland, Namibia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Laos, Costa Rica, Colombia, Tunisia, India, and Bangladesh. Furthermore, there will be a number of official representatives from the ministries of the environment as well as park rangers, directors of national parks and protectorates, in addition to wildlife photographers.
As part of the program’s agenda, Hamada and other representatives will be sharing their expertise with officials responsible for wildlife conservation, anti-trafficking legislation, environmental police, border guards, zoo workers, protected areas managers, in addition to judges and lawyers working in the field of animal rescue. Furthermore, the delegation will get the chance to visit a wide selection of natural protection institutions and animal welfare societies.
Since the Alexandria Turtle and Wildlife Rescue Team has been established in 2014, the group has helped save the lives of countless turtles and other endangered animals, after learning one day that fish stores illegally sell endangered turtles. The team often rescues animals in distress, provides necessary medical care and releases the animals back to their natural habitat. As the Founder and the President of the team, Hamada has spearheaded the operation ever since that day. However, her story with animal rescue goes all the way back to 2008, when she was rescuing the stray cats and dogs of Egypt’s streets.
The team buys turtles from vendors at their own expenses to save them from a life of entrapment and finally slaughter, and then, participating vets offer medical checkups before releasing the turtle back to the beach.
The team has been growing with each passing year, providing awareness campaigns to children and adults about wildlife in Egypt as well as the adverse consequences of single-use plastics.