What do an Australian peafowl, starfish and a St. Lawrence River eel in the Lachine area, Montreal, have in common?
As you know, my biggest dream has always been to be able to help living beings in any way, from my big dream of save an entire species to the more realistic dream of saving any animal I find.
To think that some animals are alive today thanks to me makes me extremely happy. And that is what they have in common: I had the great opportunity to rescue some individuals of the species I mentioned in the beginning. Some I saved by pure luck, and others because I was a bit alert.
First story, the eel. One afternoon in 2009, I was walking with a friend by a dock with a lighthouse at the end, near the Canal Lachine in Montreal. I saw fishermen so I walked towards them to see what they were fishing.
At that moment, I saw a man getting something very big out of the water. It took me a moment to finally notice that it was an eel! The fisherman didn’t know what to do with it. The fishing line broke and the eel fell in a gap at the edge of the dock. Since I saw nobody reacting, I got closer to get it out of there. The problem was that since eels are covered with a layer of mucous as protection, they are very slippery fellows.
I finally could grab it firmly against me while my friend tried to take the hook off of his mouth. With a lot of efforts, we finally succeeded and put him back in the water. Washing my bag a dozen of times to get rid of the mucous and the stench was worth it!
In 2010 I stayed in Bali, Australia and Thailand for some time.
On a quiet beach in Bali, at the beginning of my stay, I saw children getting starfish out of the water and I walked closer to them to tell them to leave them in the water.
Since they couldn’t understand me, I took them out their hands and put them back myself. I also saw that they had already taken five others and that these one were getting all dried up on the beach sand. The problem was that their family only spoke Russian, so I used clues to explain them that it is important to leave them in the water.
While I was looking for the lifeguard so he could help me, the family headed back to their room with the ones they had already retrieved before I arrived. But at least, I managed to put back the two in my hands.
After, in a forest in Queensland, in northern Australia, I witnessed children feeding wild peafowls.
The peafowls were very close, you could see that they were very confident. Unfortunately, one child aimed rocks at a peafowl and the poor fell into the bushes. The poor peafowl fell on the ground. Why so much cruelty, I asked myself, but it seems there are no real answers to such question. Humans are able to do incredible and horrible things.
After telling the children that what they did was very bad, I left in search of the peafowl, which was left in a bad position, since they tossed it just like that. I took it in my arms, and kept it there for a while until it felt better. Then I let it go, wobbling, but in a better shape.
Three little stories I will always remember.
I always try to watch for animals and protect them if they are in danger. So there are certainly more similar stories I will able to tell with time.
Please stay vigilant as well and do not miss an opportunity to help an anima in danger. It’s just a drop in the ocean, I know, but to the animal in question, it’s its whole life we’re talking about!
Author: Helena Arroyo
Translation: Noëlla Moussa