Yesterday (21 June) on Twitter, The Bad Seeds' Warren Ellis announced the opening of his new wildlife sanctuary Ellis Park.

Located in Sumatra, Indonesia, Ellis Park is, in Ellis' own words, a "forever home for animals who are unable to be released back into the wild due to their injuries sustained from maltreatment by humans".

Ellis bought the plot of land in Sumatra and donated it to Jakarta Animal Aid Network with help from animal welfare activists Lorinda Jane and Femke den Haas. Haas helped Ellis secure the land as it was located next to her wildlife centre in South Sumatra.

On the website, Ellis writes that it was "the story and images of Rina the monkey with both arms amputated and a little dog with a broken jaw that made me want to help."

Speaking in more detail about Ellis Park to The Quietus, Ellis explained, "The aim of Femke’s work is usually to release the animals back into nature. The idea [with Ellis Park] was to build a park for the animals that can’t even be let back. We’ve taken in a monkey that had been chained up and they had to amputate the arms off it because they’d been chained up and eaten through to the bone. There’s three bears which have had their teeth removed so people could have a photo with them. The whole COVID thing too closed down a lot of tourism over there, and you’ve got these animals starving. This constant need for a forever place for animals that sadly can’t be let back into nature, it struck me as a really beautiful thing to engage in. I guess that there’s something about animals that, they don’t ask for any of that kind of treatment and yet they’ve had it dished out. It’s not about finger pointing, it’s about hope, that’s the bottom line."

He continued, "I think it’s also linked a bit to [the pandemic] of last year, feeling powerless about certain things. I’ve lived a really amazing creative life that’s really fulfilling. I guess I really wanted to feel like I was putting something back in, beyond what I do. I think it was as simple as that. I’ve donated to certain things and done that sort of thing when I can, but it felt like by doing this I also have to roll my sleeves up. I wanted to enable these people because they’re so incredible. Femke’s organisation is all volunteers."

On his role with Ellis Park, he added, "We have to get the place built, and that’s really exciting! The people there know what they’re doing, they have a sanctuary next door and this is an extension of that, so we’ll leave that to the professionals. I’m going to help get it out there. I’ve been designing the website with Lorinda, it’s really just a couple of us engaged in it at the moment, and I plan to be as involved with it as I can. Initially I didn’t want to do [publicity] and have it trumpeted everywhere, that wasn’t the reason for doing it. I wanted to enable these people. But then when we got the land and I realised that actually, you know, they are totally reliant on help. I realised that I could get it out to a larger audience. In the same way that when I’ve donated a guitar or a distortion pedal to an auction, I’ve obviously been very aware and self-conscious of trumpet blowing. But it’s really not about that at all. I realise that by actually remaining a shadow in the background I wasn’t serving my purpose. I’ve donated to things before and it goes into this hole in a way, you forget about it. But with this, suddenly I found myself trying to design a website. I just found it really fantastic."

Visit ellispark.org to find out more and to donate to the wildlife sanctuary.