ANIMA is a non-profit association active in the field of natural environment, with its main activity being the nursing and rehabilitation of wild animals in their natural environment. It was established in 2005, today being the largest and most prominent organisation in Greece for wildlife care and rehabilitation.
Each year ANIMA rehabilitates over 5.000 wild animals, responds to thousands of citizens for issues concerning wildlife, collaborates with authorities, NGOs and stakeholders to address threats to wildlife, and mobilizes hundreds of volunteers.
ANIMA operates the main First Aid Station for wildlife in Greece where, each year, thousands of wounded, orphaned, and otherwise helpless wild animals are cared for, treated, and then released back to nature. Hundreds of citizens come to the First Aid Station of ANIMA bringing injured, sick, or orphaned wild animals; twice as many people contact the organization for instructions and information. Indicatively, during 2019 and 2020, ANIMA treated 11,000 wild animals in total. The organization’s impact on Greek society is growing year by year, while on social media it is followed by more than 88,000 people.
ANIMA collaborates with other environmental and nature protection agencies, humanitarian and cultural organisations, schools, etc.
ANIMA organizes various events for children and adults, trying to focus on the strengthening of the relationship between humans and nature. These events take place in open-air venues, such as city groves and parks. The goal is to bring city duelers in contact with the ground, the trees, the products of the land, as well as the revival of cultural traditions related to nature.
Being a nonprofit organisation, ANIMA operates thanks to the help and the donations of the people and supporting foundations. Our main source is the active volunteers. They complement the few but well-experienced personnel, also supported by the volunteer assistance of the experts that constitute the scientific committee of ANIMA.
ANIMA participates in the fight against wildlife crime, being involved in organized raids to the illegal open markets. Also, it has an active role in raising awareness mainly through: a) social media and events (ANIMA has more than 88.000 followers in facebook) b) training of volunteers on first aid c) lobbying the public authorities and stakeholders d) analysing and publishing relevant data e) urging citizens to get involved in“paratiro” (a citizen science project) f) dealing with complaints on wildlife crime.
The victims of wildlife crime mainly concern Illegal hunting and trading, as well as poisoning.
As regards the illegal trade, ANIMA collaborates with the Forestry Departments, the Hellenic Ornithological Society, and the Hellenic Hunters Confederation for the confiscation of birds (mostly songbirds) trapped and sold illegally at the illegal open market of Schistos, Attica, and dozens of pet shops. Those that are cannot be immediately released, are being cared for by the organisation until their full recovery. ANIMA receives dozens of complaints and notifies the relevant authorities about illegal trapping and selling in pet-shops, open markets, as well as online and newspaper advertisements.
In regards to poisoning, the majority of the incidents concern scavengers and birds of prey poisoned by baits.
ANIMA operates PARATIRO, a citizen science project for the collection of data on incidents of dead or injured wild animals in the whole Greek territory. It aims to establish a national, reliable recording and monitoring system for wildlife mortality due to anthropogenic causes. PARATIRO runs through an electronic platform and an application for Android and iOS.
At the Diomidous Botanical Garden, ANIMA has laid the foundations of a special unit that temporarily hosts the birds of prey that are under reintegration, as well as the rehabilitated animals that are not in the position to be released. There, we plan to start an environmental education program. The school children will be given guided tours so that they realise the problems that wildlife faces in Greece and discuss mitigation and/or minimisation measures. The tours will be given in such a way that the animals are not put under stress. They will often be accompanied by releases of fully rehabilitated birds. The school children will be provided for the first time the opportunity to learn about the threats that wildlife faces in Greece not just in theory but in practice through real cases. Such an experience is something unique, as wildlife losses its general meaning and gets associated with a specific animal and the message becomes unforgettable.