An interview with World Animal Day Ambassador, Mau Hamada (Egypt)

Mau Hamada is the founder of Alexandria Turtle and Wildlife Rescue Team in Egypt. Her birth name is Mai, but she’s known as Mau after the Egyptian Mau cat breed. Now that’s an animal lover!

Tell us a bit about your organisation — what do you do?

“I founded Alexandria Turtle and Wildlife Rescue Team in 2014 as there was no other organization to help wild animals in Egypt — all others focus on cats, dogs and equines.

We rescue animals in need, give lectures, and organise campaigns to raise awareness.”

How long have you been an Ambassador?

“This is my 3rd year as World Animal Day Ambassador, but I started celebrating the event 2 years earlier.”

How does World Animal Day help your cause?

“Every year I arrange events celebrating World Environment Day, World Wildlife Day, etc. but World Animal Day is always a special event.

For pets, we organize free medical consultations and give advice to owners. We also provide free grooming, dental cleaning and de-fleaing.

The other part of the celebration is for wild animals. We help the zoo via donations and volunteering with the help of school students.”

What challenges do you face, and how can the public help?

“The big challenges are people disrespecting animals and general lack of awareness. The public would do much to help by not buying animals from breeders.”

How has 2020 changed how you work?

“Many plans were changed or cancelled because of COVID-19, but I still give awareness lectures and workshops on a weekly basis via video-link. These are also shared on the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandra) webpage.”

Are you celebrating World Animal Day differently this year?

“I’m preparing a video about animal welfare in my country displaying positive examples of shelters, vets and rescuers. It’s a thank-you message, and it's good for networking, education and outreach.

And then, if the coronavirus situation ends before October (which I doubt!), there is much to be done at the zoo.

Other exciting news is that we’ve rescued and released one turtle, with two others in rehabilitation.

Above, is a picture of me and our latest rescue turtle, Farida!”

 

Follow the Alexandria Turtle and Wildlife Rescue Team on Facebook.