Explorer to travel to Peru to fulfil promise to Stephen Fry to save an endangered bear (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Explorer to travel to Peru to fulfil promise to Stephen Fry to save an endangered bear
3:00pm Friday 11th October 2013 in News
EXPLORER John Blashford-Snell is leading an expedition to darkest Peru to fulfil a promise to Stephen Fry to save an endangered bear.
The North Dorset based adventurer is heading to the South American Andes next July to support efforts in aid of the Spectacled Bear.
Colonel Blashford-Snell, of the Scientific Exploration Society (SES), promised Mr Fry that he would help when he attended the launch of the comedian’s book Rescuing the Spectacled Bear.
He said: “Some years ago I promised Stephen Fry that I would help to save the bear.
“He was launching a book about saving the bear at the time.
“I lectured at his school, Uppingham, when he was young and that is how he got involved.”
The party will ascend more than 12,000 feet into the Peruvian Andes to explore a vast area of tropical cloud forest that is home to numerous endangered animals and rare flora – including the Spectacled Bear.
TV star and writer Mr Fry has publicised the trip on Twitter and backed the call for volunteers.
Col Blashford-Snell, of Motcombe, near Shaftesbury, especially needs qualified dentists and doctors for the expedition into the 500 sq mile Yanachaga Chemillen National Park.
A Peruvian conservation organisation is trying to preserve the site which is seldom visited by anyone other than the indigenous people who live around it.
To protect the fauna and flora and especially the Spectacled Bear, it is vital that the villagers are encouraged to protect the animals and not to cut out timber from the forest.
Spectacled Bears sometimes attack the people’s crops at night so often they shoot or poison the creatures.
Col Blashford-Snell hopes by providing medical and dental treatment, reading glasses for villagers and school books for the children they will encourage the villagers to think differently about the bears.
SES member Shirley Critchley, of Poole, and a group of ladies are knitting 200 spectacled ‘teddy’ bears for the children. Col Blashford-Snell hopes that the children will then encourage their parents not to kill the bear.
Col Blashford-Snell is especially keen to involve doctors, dentists, nurses, biologists and engineers who speak some Spanish.
For further details please email Anne Gilby at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01747 854456.
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