Dear DAKTARI Supporters,
It has been a long time since there was news from our Eco Clubs as the children were on holiday since November. But first of all, we want to give you the good news that they all passed their exams last year…we are very proud of them :)
At the end of the year, as a nice reward, the best 4 children of each school had the chance to spend a Sunday with us at DAKTARI! We really had great fun, swimming, playing, taking care of the animals and going on a bush walk to the Leopard rock to learn about tracks and different trees.
It was a really nice, sunny Sunday full of joy, laughs, and smiles. Jeremiah, one of our most ambitious learners, actually left that day telling us “I had a fantastic day, I have learned so much and I feel so happy that you invited me at DAKTARI”, which put a big smile on my face :)
After a month break for Christmas, the children are now back at school and since middle of January, we have started our weekly eco clubs again.
What a nice surprise on the first day at Ramatau to see children queuing in front of the class and seeing that 78 of them turned up with the motivation to learn, which shows us that the desire to learn more and more is growing in the school.
Since the beginning of the year we have learnt about different subjects on wildlife and environment such as ecotourism, plastic, rainbows, the different antelopes found in Limpopo and the Food Chain.
We also had some good and fun times as we decorated the eco club classroom at Maachlamele School by painting, drawing and putting nice animal pictures on the wall. The classroom looks now much more colourful and welcoming for more and more students!
As you know, your donations are more than precious and mean the world to us. We still have many ideas and so much more we would like to accomplish! We are still looking for funds to be able to take the children to the Reptile Park in March and cover the cost of petrol, entrance and lunch for about 10 of them. We also would like to continue furnishing our eco club class-room at Maachlamele School.
We will never thank you enough for your support and look forward to give you more news soon :)
Nathalie, Eco Club Teacher
Dear Piggy lover,
Our project has been successfully funded!!! :) Thanks to you, for your participation and your loving attention, we raised $ 505 for our little Warthog, Piggy-Piggy!
This little one grows up so quickly, with a cute pig character! Everyday she enjoys good food, receives loving care from everyone here and roams free all around the camp. She likes the company of the others animals, playing soccer, sleeping on the couch, stealing food and MUCH Much more. Although her absolute favorite thing is taking a mud bath!
As soon as she heard about you, all the wonderful people who gave to her and helped her, she jumped in a big good mud bath, rolled, ran and screamed! Yummy..! :)
I hope you will enjoy the pictures.
Piggy and all the DAKTARI Team wish you a wonderful day!!
Do you want to continue helping DAKTARI, Piggy, the others orphaned animals and the underprivileged children? Click HERE and spread some love between you and them for Valentine's day!!
THANK YOU so much!
It started off like any other Monday at DAKTARI, the children going around on a tour, animals being fed and cleaned, optimism in the air for the new adventures of the week that lay ahead. However, what was discovered on the 19th of January, at around 13:00, would rock DAKTARI to its core.
" We would often go visit Shiloweni to see what he was doing, often we would find him patrolling his territory or more recently, up in his tree, taking cover from the heat. Today we were surprised to find him lying in the sun. He would normally have his tail moving or at least move his ears if we approached closer. This time, nothing. We immediately knew that something was wrong " said the two DAKTARI volunteers, Daniel and Anne-Sophie, that found Shiloweni's stiff and lifeless body laying in the grass.
Our leopard was then taken to local veterinary doctor, Peter Rodgers, who has played such an important role in the leopards’ life. He confirmed what we had already suspected, it was a snake bite that had taken the life of this majestic African beast. Even the might and power of this exquisite creature was no match for the deadly venom of a slithering serpent. There was evidence of a fight around his body, with blood and scratch marks present, probably with either a Snouted Cobra or the infamous Black Mamba. Dr. Rodgers then notified us that there has been many snake bite incidents reported in the last weeks. This one, we felt the most.
After the dust had settled, it was time to lay Shiloweni to rest. His grave was dug in the African Bush, which is where he belongs. It was an honour and privilege to be there as Ian, Michele, staff, volunteers and children payed their respects to this fallen giant. It was if a close friend had passed, and that's really what Shiloweni was, someone close to our hearts, a respected member of the family whose presence and majesty was not possible to ignore. He had played such a vital role in inspiring and motivating children and volunteers alike, to stop, and to take notice of the utter preciousness that surrounds all of us. To acknowledge how fragile life can be. Stop, breath, and contemplate this for a moment.
But with every end comes new beginnings, with every heart ache comes hope. Without a doubt, from the rubble of our broken hearts, something fresh and new will emerge from this tragic story.
Shiloweni encapsulated the spirit of what DAKTARI is about, his spirit will live on forever. This evening as the red sunsets, no matter where you find yourself in the world, you can still hear his mighty roar in your hearts.
To all you donors who have given selflessly of yourselves and resources to provide the food and care for Shiloweni, we salute you. This is the end of the story of this leopard, but the Bush School & Wildlife he called home for so many years continues. We ask that you continue to support DAKTARI for it purpose of saving animals like Shiloweni.