Even drug dealers couldn't convince him to turn his back on his animals.
A man in Queensland, Australia has been trying to sell his wildlife sanctuary and the property that comes with it for nearly five years now, to no avail. His biggest problem is that people are offering him money for the idyllic land while attempting to do away with the animals.
For Harry Kunz, these proposals simply won’t do. He has been caring for the animals at his sanctuary for almost 30 years, and was first inspired to help animals when he arrived in Australia after living in Austria and saw how carelessly animals were being put down.
“I got a shock because, where I come from in Austria, a sulphur-crested cockatoo was $3,000 in a pet shop. I didn’t know you could buy them here for $10,” he said. “For me it was an exotic wonderful bird who had just a broken wing. What’s the big deal? Anybody can fix this.”
That was in 1982, and since then Kunz has been a strong advocate for wildlife ever since. His sanctuary, Eagles Nest, has a 78% survival rate. For those that can’t be returned to the wild, Kunz keeps them at his sanctuary so that they can live a safe, undisturbed life.
As for his previous search for new owners, he has had many groups approach him with less-than-ideal propositions. Drug dealers even offered him $100,000 per year to allow them to grow their dope plantation on the property and move the animals elsewhere. He respectfully declined this and other offers.
Eagles Nest has taken care of a wide variety of animals, such as birds of prey, cassowaries, emus, and koalas. Typically, these creatures have been hit by a car, attacked by a domestic animal, purposefully shot by hunters, or poisoned by traps or pesticides. What truly frustrates but motivates Kunz is the fact that people shoot animals for no particular reason. He said,
“The worst thing I’ve discovered is that 98% of hunting is done because it’s ‘fun’. Some people say, ‘Next year when it grows up I can shoot it’.” He added, “There is no bigger, stupider predator than humans.”
Kunz has now opened up his search for a new owner to the entire nation, and his only requirement is that the animals remain on the property and the approximately 1,200 animals that come to them for help every year continue to be treated. His ideal candidates would be a small group of passionate, animal lovers, such as a loving couple or family.
“The only thing they need is the love for our environment and wildlife, and common sense.”
Since these are qualities that can’t be taught, it is the only basic requirement for tenancy. Prospective owners will be able to come to the sanctuary, which is described as a paradise, and learn the tricks of the trade until they are ready to take over.
The world needs more people like Kunz to be the voice for creatures who can’t verbalize what they need and how they feel in order for animals to thrive alongside humans.
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