Daniel Marcus Macwan
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2018: Rehabilitating animals
A usual day in Daniel Marcus Macwan’s life often involves negotiating with poachers to buy endangered animals. Once the deal is sealed, and the sale finalised, Macwan takes these animals to his house, not to sell them to the highest bidder, but to rehabilitate them and release them into the wild again.
Daniel, 43, is a DJ-turnedconservationist, who came to Manipur’s Tamenglong town three years ago with his wife Galina Newme. Since then the couple has set up a shelter home in their house, surrounded by rich flora and fauna. The animals they rescue have seen the worst kind of ill-treatment — bound, chained and confined to cages by poachers.
“We left Mumbai and decided to settle down here because of its pristine climate and beautiful, green valleys. But when we saw wild animals and birds being gagged and bound, we could no longer be mute spectators. So, we began our campaign to save wild animals and set up the Tamenglong animals’ home,” Daniel told TOI.
As a DJ, Daniel worked at the Ghetto and Rasana Pubs, Groove, the Music Destination, Salimar Hotel, Shantranj and QI in Mumbai for nearly seven years. He was also associated with Royal Caribbean Cruises at Miami in Florida for three years.
“To stop the menace of trapping and killing animals, we try to educate people about the importance of conservation. We first bought two Asian forest tortoises, each weighing around 27kg at Rs7000 from the Tamenglong market, and handed them over to the Manipur zoological garden authorities in Imphal,” Daniel said. The turtles were later released at Keibul Lamjao National Park by state forest authorities.
The couple, who married in 2005, have turned strictly vegetarian. They conduct daily visits to the Tamenglong market to identify if any wild animals are being sold there. They also plan to raise funds to start a new programme on June 5 (World Environment Day) by engaging the state government.
“We bought a leopard cub for Rs1000 from a hunter. But he was too young and so we fed her with milk every three hours. Sadly, the cub suffered diarrhoea and died as we could not find any vets here. We need good veterinary help here,” Daniel said. The couple’s future action plan involves educating school children about wildlife conservation and providing an alternative source of income for hunters and trappers to stop poaching.