A happy Mangaian resident with her dog. SUPPLIED/22071801
Te Are Manu is the only vet clinic in the Cook Islands and we want to serve the community of the Cook Islands, not just Rarotonga. We hope to be able to visit as many of the Pa Enua as we are able at regular intervals, writes clinic’s medical director Dr Michael Baer.
A combined team from Te Are Manu and the Cook Islands SPCA were lucky enough to visit Mangaia for a week at the start of July.
left Rarotonga on the 9am flight, with a sense of excitement. After what can
only be described as a scenic flight around Rarotonga and over Muri beach, we
were able to see Mangaia’s runway through the front of our aeroplane. And then
the amazing Makatea came into view.
Whyte, the executive office of the Island Council which had been kind enough to
invite us to make this trip, met us and we gathered our goods, settled into our
accommodation, and got straight into our first afternoon of work.
had fantastic support from the Ministry of Agriculture, in the form of Tuara George
and George Marurai who did a lot of our organising for this first clinic and
throughout our stay, and Marilyn Nooroa volunteered her time to assist with
nursing duties. Without their local knowledge and their practical input we
would have been lost.
seven dogs and three cats on that first day we were free to go exploring. And there is so much to explore. For those
who have been, you will know, for those who haven’t, you should.
Saturday, Tuara George gave us a real treat, inviting us to the opening of the
AOG Tivaevae show. The pieces on display were beautiful and the meal that
followed was fabulous. We felt very blessed to be invited.
was Oneroa, the main township. Along with the usual cats and dogs there was
also a home visit to castrate and health check a goat. On Tuesday we began the
day in Tamarua, more dogs, more cats, then a trip across to Ivirua, to get a
jumpstart on Wednesday. Wednesday was our biggest day, Ivirua came out in numbers.
Thursday was back to Oneroa and one of the highlights of the week for the team
– the students from Apii Mangaia came down to visit and watch a couple of
operations. What a thrill for us that was, it was great to see enthusiastic,
interested, young people asking lots of questions.
the end of the trip we had desexed 56 dogs and 37 cats and one goat. We had
provided health checks to seven sick dogs. We had implanted microchips into 58
dogs so they can be reunited with owners if lost, a great initiative. Mangaia
now has its own section on the national microchip database. Our welfare guru,
Mata Nooroa Jr, a great asset to our team, provided practical advice on animal
care, feeding and housing. His long experience performing the role of welfare
officer for the SPCA in Rarotonga was the key to this and we appreciate that he
agreed to join the TAM team on behalf of CISPCA.
would like to thank the people of Mangaia for supporting this clinic. It was a
pleasure to provide our services, and we hope to do so again soon. The
generosity we received was overwhelming from people around the island. Every
day we were treated to great midday meals and our chicken curry dinner was
delicious. We received some amazing donations and great food. We cannot thank
everyone enough, your kindness is remembered.
also thank the Island Council and mayor Tutai, and the executive officer, the
Ministry of Agriculture, George and George. Thank you, Marilyn from all of us.
From me, thanks go to Sarah, Mata and Natalie, for making everything we did
happen. To the people who helped with travel plans and logistics, thanks for
your unsung help. And to Te Are Manu staff and volunteers who kept the
operation in Rarotonga on track, thank you.