SS eventh-day Adventist young people—motivated by concern for the environment and for all of God’s creation—are helping wild animals in Brazil’s famed Pantanal region, one of the world’s most interconnected ecosystems.
Since July of this year, thousands of fires have devastated the State of Mato Grosso. So far, more than 15 percent of the Pantanal has been consumed by fire, according to the National Center for Prevention and Fighting Forest Fires (Prevfogo). It is equivalent to approximately 5,683,424 acres (2.3 million hectares), roughly ten times the size of the cities Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro combined.
With the supply of food diminishing, the Pathfinders (Desbravadores) Marechal Rondon club, from the Adventist Church of Porto, in Cuiabá, collected more than 882 pounds (400 kilos) of fruits and vegetables to minimize the suffering of wild animals. The initiative marked World Pathfinder Day, celebrated September 12.
“We collected fruits and vegetables that would be otherwise discarded and gave them to É o Bicho MT , a group of volunteer protectors and defenders of the animal cause that is working in the Pantanal,” explained Paulo de Tarso, Pathfinder and Adventurer coordinator for Mato Grosso.
“It was a substantial donation that revealed the community’s involvement in actions in favor of the Pantanal. The more food we get, the more animals will be helped. Having the support of Pathfinders shows us that we are on the right path,” said biologist Andréia Franceschetto.
Donations were taken to the Pantanal on Saturday. “We deliver part of the food to the Pantanal Wild Animal Service Post (PAEAS Pantanal) and distribute the other part through the Transpantaneira Highway,” said the biologist.
Franceschetto points out people can help in different ways. “With the forecast of drought until October, we will continue to need donations and social mobilization, whether through the location of partners who want to contribute – such as the neighborhood market and fairs that can donate fruits and vegetables, or just publicizing the actions so more people know. In addition, of course, find out about everything that is happening here. After all, the Pantanal is a very important biome, not just for Mato Grosso,” she added.
Tarso said, “The campaign continues! We will continue to collect food and supplies needed to support this task force that tries to save animals.”