By Kate Cornwell …
Recently I organised for myself and three friends to visit the Taskent Wild Life Centre. I last went there with my sister and her brother in law back in September, when Ulas Seherlioglu kindly took us around the centre, showing us the turtles that were in recovery in the marine life centre, then on to the monkeys, birds and it was really a lovely interesting hour or two and he was very informative and honest when questions were asked.
Two out of the group when we went a couple of weeks ago had never been and were so excited to go and see something so different and worthwhile for all types of animals (excluding domestic cats and dogs) in Northern Cyprus.
I had phoned Martin Marancos (general coordinator), who like Ulas shows groups and private parties around and asked if he would give some of his precious time to show us and he said he would be delighted so we organised a time to meet.
We met at the Selvi restaurant which had just re-opened (due to the virus) and had coffee and tea before we went down to the Centre.
He showed us everything he could but this time we couldn’t go into the bird sanctuary due to them laying eggs and obviously they could not be disturbed, but he did take us into a huge building where there were three buzzards who could never be released back into the wild. These are one of my favourite birds and I was so pleased when I arrived in Cyprus to hear one day on my roof terrace the sound of their call and looked up and there must have been around eight flying high near the mountain – where I used to live in Wiltshire I was surrounded by them and when I saw them here, I truly felt at home! Sorry I digress!!
We also went into a new building that had been built since I went in September and that was where they now operate and do general treatments. There must be at least 4 rooms equipped for this purpose and was very impressive. I remember last September they only had one tiny room in which these operations and treatments were done!
On the way out I met one of their highly regarded veterinary gentleman, who studied in Ankara and initially came over to basically educate the vets here, with regard to Leishmania and also he was the one to set up a database here of cases and general information. Lovely guy, actually everyone we met were polite and had a smile – which tells me they must love their jobs and I can’t blame them!
Taskent is dedicated to protect and promote wildlife and to try and educate environmental awareness through its non- profit educational activities.
Each year hundreds of wild animals are treated and rehabilitated back into the wild. Sometimes of course animals that they take in, due to their condition cannot be allowed to go back into their environment sadly, but they are looked after beautifully and will stay for the rest of their lives at the centre.
All the projects are funded by income generated from the Taskent Picnic Area and the Selvi Restaurant and of course donations.
If you have not been it is well worth your while to go and see what these wonderful people do for the animals that they find and/or are brought to them that desperately need help.
The restaurant and picnic area is open to visitors but you must make an appointment if you wish to go into the rehabilitation centre and a donation is expected.
Martin’s number is 0548 811 1186 and Ulas is 0548 811 1150
Go and support this unique place in Northern Cyprus. Hopefully like me, you will go away totally uplifted!
Thank you Martin for all your time that you spent with us and I know we all came away so happy and well informed.