Muria Works to Get Animals and People A[euro][approximately]talking'

Article excerpt

Byline: JANINE HILL

LIKE Dr Dolittle, Muria Roberts believes that if she could talk to the animals, learn all their languages, what an achievement it would be.

The former Nambour High student is leading a ground-breaking project in multi-species education which she hopes will one day see human beings and animals co-exist in harmony.

Ms Roberts, 39, has established a multi-species community zone and a multi-species education centre at Bogor, on the Indonesian island of Java. The centre was established in response to a feral cat problem and was a test for Ms Roberts' theory that conflict between people and animals could be minimised by educating both.

"We're in the early stages of a community project to get all the cats in the zone sterilised, and have a registry of all animals in the zone. We're providing shelter spots for the cats, and feeding areas."

Ms Roberts, a qualified teacher, has studied archaeology, paleoanthropology, and anthro-zoology a the study of human-animal interactions and inter-relationships a during the past 20 years and is completing a PhD. …