By Ian and Michele Merrifield - Reinforcing protection of wildlife in rural area
Disinfection of a duiker camp
We started Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage because we found out that most of our local underprivileged children didn’t have access to wildlife although it’s a part of their heritage. Most of the local children and their family can’t afford unfortunately to visit national parks or private game reserves because of their high cost.
It is very easy to blame a population of not taking care of their environment but what do we do to help them to understand the benefit of it? What do we do to make sure that all of us will still be able to come on holidays in South Africa in 20 years for the pleasure of seeing an elephant or a lion? This is what we do at Daktari. We educate underprivileged children to care for their environment through the medium of a wildlife orphanage, by inviting them for a stay of 5 days with us in the bush.
During their stay the children are shown many wild animal orphans. Children learn how to clean animal cages and camps, disinfect them against diseases, and to give proper animal care. They learn about animals and how to find out more about them using books from the library. Children also go on bush walks and learn about animal tracks, trees, and many other things about nature.
They always show a great interest in the small animal we have but they are missing out on their favourite animal which is the Cheetah.
We have already made an impact on the local population as twice leopard and cheetah cubs have been saved from cruel hunt. Twice children who have been at Daktari have given pressure to their parents to call the services of Nature Conservation to remove the predators from their cattle farm instead of butchering them. We still need to reinforce this position.
Kindly De Wildt Cheetah project has offered to give us a retired cheetah so the children can learn about them and the beauty and importance of wildlife. To ensure an adequate enclosure for the captivity of the animal we have to build a very big enclosure and need your involvement
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