DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

The mission of Daktari is to inspire, motivate, and educate underprivileged children to care for their environment through the medium of a wildlife orphanage.
Sep 30, 2016

New animals and the start of baby season

Little Poquita, the baby nyala
Little Poquita, the baby nyala

Your donations are now helping us feed even more animals! 

As of today, DAKTARI has 83 animals in our camp that you are supporting. The start of baby season means that number is likely to grow! Thankfully, many of the babies that we raise are able to be released back into the wild. 

We welcomed three new animals to DAKTARI in September. The first new addition was a baby nyala from the neighboring game reserve, Makalali. The rangers at the game lodge saw that the baby was alone for a full night, which is very unusual if the mother is still alive and caring for the baby. The next morning they called us to see if we could take her in. Of course, we said "yes!" having raised two nyalas last year. We brought her to camp and named her Poquita. 

She is being bottle-fed by our volunteers and staff and growing every day. Our volunteers have definitely fallen for her and battle every day for the chance to feed her. We are very optimistic that Poquita will survive and be released back into the wild once she is weaned. 

Two days after Poquita's arrival, our students found two mice on the floor of their bathroom and ran to tell us! Just the fact that they told us about the small animals and wanted to make sure they were being cared for, is a sign of the impact of our teaching program on their attitude towards animals. Our animal manager, Willington, went to take a closer look and found that the mice were actually two baby squirrels! There was no sign of the mother and we believe she died just the day before.  We took the babies in and began to feed them and warm them up. 

The brother and sister were watched day and night by our volunteers. Unfortunately, the male squirrel did not survive following the fall. The sister, however, is doing very well and will also be released in the coming weeks! She was affectionately named Aria after the Game of Thrones character, as she is a survivor. 

Our final arrival was not a baby at all! DAKTARI often works closely with the other animal rehabilitation programs in the area, most notably Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre outside of Hoedspruit. They called DAKTARI just a couple of weeks ago and asked if we had room for another eagle. Moholoholo has already donated three eagles to DAKTARI but we were eager to take another ambassador! The Wahlberg's eagle was rehabilitated at Moholoholo after being injured but is no longer able to fly, and so he cannot be released. Therefore, he will join our other eagles in an enclosure to serve as an ambassador to the children who visit DAKTARI. We are excited to welcome him and have named him Donnie! 

The next few months will likely bring the arrival of more animals and more opportunity for our volunteers to take on animal care. Check out the volunteering link below if you want to join us for baby season!

We are ready!

Tiny Aria making friends
Tiny Aria making friends
Aria, a little more grown up
Aria, a little more grown up
Donnie, the Wahlberg Eagle
Donnie, the Wahlberg Eagle

Links:

Sep 12, 2016

We've done something with your donation!

Our new solar panels being installed
Our new solar panels being installed

DAKTARI is very excited to tell you that we've upgraded our solar panel system with the help of YOUR donation! 

With help from other sponsors and grants as well, we were able to fund a new solar panel and solar battery system to power our camp. The new system has far more capacity than the old one and we no longer need to rely on generator power at all! 

Not only are we fully solar, we have more power now than we did before. This will allow us reliably have lights and power at night and during the day. We will also be able to purchase cheaper appliances because our system is more flexible than the old one. The savings from our new system will add up quickly! 

Since the new system has been installed, we will be closing this project on GlobalGiving. In the future, we may need more funding for upgrades or to replace the batteries in several years, so keep an eye out for ways to continue supporting us!

Thank you for your support! We could not have done it without you!! 

With all our love, 

The DAKTARI Team

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our other programs, check out the links below!

New batteries and inverter
New batteries and inverter

Links:

Sep 7, 2016

Kagiso and Tebatso's Crafts

Tebatso (left) and Kagiso
Tebatso (left) and Kagiso

Today I'd like to relate the story of Kagiso and Tebatso, two Eco Club members who have shown tremendous artistic talent.  The boys, who are long time participants of Eco Club, were inspired last year by the lesson "Art and Recycling", during which they discovered their talent in making animals out of recycled wire.  They went home and surprised us the next week with an ostrich, elephant, giraffe, impala, monkey, and shark, all first drawn on paper and then perfectly copied into bends of the wire!

Later, during the rainy summer weeks, they began making clay animals.  They collect and form clay into the shape of an animal, bake it in a homemade kiln, and paint it.  Their portfolio is very impressive: everything from rhinos and elephants, to kudu, warthog, and even porcupines! 

Last month, DAKTARI and the NPO Nourish were able to provide an opportunity for the young men to sell their creations at the local farmer's market in Hoedspruit.  After some initial shyness, they opened up and were spectacular salesmen.  The sold many of the animals; customers were especially taken by the detailing of the porcupines! 

Kagiso and Tebatso's animals are now on display at DAKTARI, as well as at a local Craft Shop.  They have realized that they can work hard and use their natural artistic talent to have fun, and get an income too!  Kagiso, who will be in the 12th grade next year, has expressed an interest in pursuing an Art Degree after high school.

DAKTARI is incredibly proud of everything the boys have accomplished, and we THANK YOU, our fantastic donors, for allowing us to help these young artists. 

I'll leave you with a letter directly from Kagiso:

Daktari and the eco-club made this possible, without daktari and the eco-club today i would not be making those beautiful animals. So thank you for bringing the eco-club to us and get a chance to learn new thing every week and I am greatful for knowing daktari. If it wasn't for your love and care, see and knowing about the environment and animals would not be possible. So thank you and all the volunteers at daktari, we are were we are because of you.

From: Kagiso

Animals made from Recycled Wire
Animals made from Recycled Wire
The artists at the Farmer
The artists at the Farmer's Market
A sampling of their clay animals
A sampling of their clay animals
 
   

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