Dodo Heroes: How to Help

posted: 05/21/18
Jabu Elephant Dodo Heroes
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Elephants seen in Dodo Heroes
Sandi Groves/Living with Elephants

The work put forth by the hardworking individuals and organizations in "Dodo Heroes" extends far beyond what you see in the series. They all go above and beyond to help the animals in their care. For more information on how to get involved, we invite you to visit their respective websites and follow them on social media. You can also keep up on the series by following Animal Planet on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

And if you choose, you can contribute to a special fund set up to distribute money between the charitable organizations featured in season 2, which are leading the effort to help better the lives of their animals. If you're in the United States, you can donate by texting "Heroes" to 707070. Additionally, you can contribute by visiting this donation page, whether inside the U.S. or abroad.

Every donation will be split evenly between nonprofits from season 2 in the Dodo Heroes Fund.

Organizations Featured in Season 2 (Premiering June 1, 9P)

Our Haven Wildlife Shelter
Lisa the baby kangaroo was only a month old when she was orphaned in Australia and came into the care of Tony and Theresa Matthews, who spend their time rescuing eastern grey kangaroos and swamp wallabies until they're released back into the wild. Thanks to Tony and Theresa's rescue, Our Haven Wildlife Shelter, the kangaroos, including Lisa, will stay in excellent hands until they regain their strength for release.

Our Haven Wildlife Shelter's Facebook page has more information on their cause.

Project Freedom Ride
Seven-year-old Roman McConn has become an internet sensation, creating viral videos with rescue dogs in the hopes of getting them adopted out of kill shelters. To date, he and his mother Jen have re-homed 1,500 dogs across the country through their organization Project Freedom Ride, which transports dogs to their new forever homes.

Learn more about Project Freedom Ride by clicking here.


Seal Rescue Ireland

Meanie Croce, Sam Brittain, and a devoted team of volunteers at Seal Rescue Ireland, the only seal rescue organization in The Republic of Ireland, experience their busiest season when massive storms coincide with seal pupping season. When the storms hit, they provide around-the-clock care to rehabilitate orphaned baby seals so that they can survive in the wild.

Visit Seal Rescue Ireland's Facebook page for more information.

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a conservation organization that has a history deeply rooted in protecting Kenya's wildlife. Julius Shivegha rescued and cares for Malkia, an orphaned baby elephant who lost her mother at 6-months-old, as part of the organization's Orphans Project. In time, Malkia will graduate from the Sheldrick nursery and move back to the wild in Kenya's Tsavo National Park.

Head over to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust web site for more information.

Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary
Rehabilitating injured and orphaned wombats is the primary goal at Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary in New South Wales. Run by Donna Stepan, her husband Phil Melzer, and their two daughters, the family sets their sights on teaching the wombats the necessary skills so they can be released back into the Australian bush. But first, they must save the fragile lives of two baby wombats, Nomad and Sizzle.

Visit Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary's web site.


Twist of Fate Farm
After rescuing two horses from a life of abuse and neglect, Ashley DiFelice started Twist of Fate Farm and Sanctuary in 2012. Along with her 5-year-old son Deacon, she has saved more than 100 farm animals, providing them with a happy and healthy life on the green pastures of her farm. Now, after rescuing two dwarf ponies, Cute Cumber and Pumpkin, Ashley and Deacon have a plan to bring these ponies together to make the perfect family.

Visit the Twist of Fate Farm's Facebook page for more.


Organizations Featured in Season 1

Animal Defenders International
(as seen in "Jan and Tim's Greatest Show on Earth")
Founded by Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips, Animal Defenders International (ADI) has offices in Los Angeles, London, and Bogota (Colombia), and works globally to end the suffering of animals and protect wild animals. ADI undertakes long term undercover investigations inside cruel industries to gather evidence in order to create awareness and secure public support for legislation to end the suffering of animals. As a result of ADI's campaigning, national restrictions on performing animals in traveling circuses have been enacted in over 40 countries. ADI currently has a bill to ban the use of wild animals in circuses before the US Congress (The Traveling Exotic Animal & Public Safety Protection Act) and recently secured a UK government promise to end such acts by 2020. ADI assists governments enforcing these bans on circus animal acts. In Bolivia and Peru ADI tracked down and raided every circus and rescued every animal saving approaching 200 animals. Jan & Tim's Greatest Show on Earth features part of the huge mission in Peru. ADI's team is currently helping the Guatemalan authorities enforce their circus ban and has already begun rescuing lions and tigers from circuses. ADI is in the process of opening its own Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa specifically to give circus animals, like lions, back the life that has been denied them. ADI is also caring for monkeys, like Pepe, and bears in ADI Peruvian forest sanctuaries.

To learn more about ADI, visit the organization's official website and follow ADI on Facebook and on Twitter at @AnimalDefenders.

Animal Ortho Care (as seen in "Derrick's Elephant Challenge")
Derrick Campana spent years making prosthetics for people before bringing his talents to animals and launching Animal Ortho Care, "the only animal bracing and supports company in the country to offer custom, semi-custom and customizable animal braces." With more than 10 years experience under their belt, Campana and his company have built prosthetics and braces for all sorts of animals, from dogs and cats, to elephants, camels, and even a cow.

One elephant fortunate to receive Campana's care is Jabu, a 6-ton African elephant who needed a leg brace after suffering a fall. In what could be the most challenging case of his career, Campana traveled across the world to Botswana to give the gentle giant his brace and help Jabu in the first step in achieving a better quality of life.

To learn more about Animal Ortho Care, visit the company's official website and follow them on Facebook and on Twitter at @AnimalOrthocare. You can also learn about Campana's other company, Bionic Pets, which focuses on animal prosthetics.


Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary
(as seen in "Katherine's Elephant Eden")
Established in honor of a baby elephant named Boon Lott, Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) is a 600-acre refuge for elephants rescued from Thailand's tourism and logging industries. Founded by Katherine Connor in 2007, BLES also allows individuals to stay at the sanctuary overnight (with a reservation of course - no walk-ins, please) and help care for the elephants while they're there.

BLES allows small groups of people to stay at the sanctuary and are currently booked-out two years in advance. For more information about how you can get involved, please contact katherine@blesele.org

To learn more about BLES, please visit the sanctuary's official website and follow BLES on Facebook and on Twitter at @BLESELE. You can also get a close look at the sanctuary's elephants by visiting Instagram at @blesele.


Living with Elephants Foundation
(as seen in "Derrick's Elephant Challenge")
Living With Elephants Foundation cares for rescued African Elephants in the sanctuary of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Presently, the focus is on medical care and treatments for Jabu, a sweet elephant with a severe wrist injury as a result of a tragic encounter with a wild bull elephant.


Magnetic Island Koala Hospital
(as seen in "Izzy the Koala Whisperer")
Helping koalas is a family affair for the Bees. With her husband Tim and 10-year-old daughter Izzy by her side, Ali Bee goes above and beyond to help Australia's dwindling koala population. Between Ali's work as a veterinarian at Magnetic Island Koala Hospital and Izzy nursing koalas to health from the family home, the Bee family's commitment to this beloved species knows no bounds.

Visit the Magnetic Island Koala Hospital Facebook page to learn more.


Nowzad
(as seen in "Pen and the Dogs of War")
Founded by British Marine, Pen Farthing, Nowzad seeks "to relieve the suffering of animals in Afghanistan" as Afghanistan's first and only official animal sanctuary. Inspired by Farthing's military deployment and the dog who would become the organization's namesake, Nowzad has reunited 1,200 dogs and cats with the soldiers who rescued them while deployed.

Visit the organization's official website to learn more about Nowzad, and check them out on Facebook and on Twitter at @Nowzad.

SOS PONSO and Akatia
(as seen in "Estelle's Favorite Chimp")
Some call Ponso "the loneliest chimp in the world," but what they don't know is that he has a group of heroes in his corner from SOS PONSO, an initiative created by Alexandra Gazel, dedicated to his care in Cote d'Ivoire. Of those heroes, Ponso shares an unbreakable bond with Estelle Raballand, an SOS PONSO consultant whose goal is to establish a chimpanzee sanctuary through Akatia, an organization dedicated to improving chimp welfare and conservation in Cote d'Ivoire. Estelle hopes to introduced Ponso to other chimps once the sanctuary opens up.

Go online to learn more about SOS PONSO, and follow the project on Facebook.

Visit the Akatia website for more on the organization and you can also visit their Facebook page.


Stream all of season 1 of Dodo Heroes and see first-hand these heroes at work.