‘Let’s make 2021 a year to remember’ Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne & FreeTheWild


As an amateur wildlife photographer, a conservationist at heart, and through all my travels visiting wildlife reserves and conservancies around the world, I am all too familiar with how animals live and survive in the wild. 

I am aware of how they mix with their own kind, stimulated but their natural surroundings and how they behave like wild animals should. 

Seeing what happens in some of the world’s worst zoos and circuses, where wild animals are kept in confined spaces, frequently in solitary confinement, all too often in the wrong or no natural habitat at all, is simply heart-breaking.

For those of us who care about these rights and wrongs, we find the treatment of these animals and their living conditions unbearable to look at. But, then it’s so much easier to simply look away.

May I please request that we don’t turn our backs on these poor souls in 2021? Please start this new year by opening your eyes to their plight and need for help.

With the very complex year of 2020 behind us all, I can honestly say that we can be happy to have been able to focus on the positives too. In the face of COVID, Free the Wild still managed to achieve the freedom of Kaavan and the other animals in Islamabad. Relocating this elephant from his solitary confinement in Pakistan to his new and peaceful home in Cambodia was a giant leap for a small charity like Free the Wild. No matter how difficult it was for us at times, to know that were able to achieve this task after five years of very difficult work, it has now spurred us on to continue on our future missions.

For Free the Wild, 2021 is not only the beginning of new year, but also the start of our critical work to help some of the other persecuted, imprisoned, isolated, abused and neglected captive wild animals around the world.

Whilst many of us may sometimes feel like just burying our heads in the sand and walking away, we must look at this new year as a gift of time and pull together our strengths as human beings to face each new challenge. 

Please help us achieve the rescue and release into sanctuaries of the ± 300 primates, reptiles and other animals in Pata Zoo.  Naturally our work does not end with this particular zoo in Thailand.  There are animals suffering in many terrible zoos who need our help immediately.  We have a massive task this year and as a very small charity, we simply cannot do it alone.

On behalf of Kaavan, and all the other animals that were released from the zoo in Islamabad, may I take this moment to thank all our amazing supporters again for the help you’ve given us in 2020 and ask you to continue with your assistance.  It certainly was a year that we will never forget but let’s make 2021 the year to remember.  

Cher, Mark and I, along with our trustees wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

​Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne (Co-founder & Trustee)