Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage

by DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage
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Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Provide Food & Care for the Wildlife Orphanage
Michele and Caline
Michele and Caline

Dear Friend, 

Most of us are still suffering from the pandemic, which hit all of us without exception. We thought we would have to close our doors within 3 months and we were very worried for the survival of our animals that cannot live without us! 

Not only did we need fund to feed the animals but also to maintain their enclosure, health and pay our general running costs that we brought down to the minimum. 

Fortunately, some of our previous learners, who are now adults, offered to help us caring for the animal on a volunteer basis. We were so touched by the responses when we called for help! 

Do you know that last year, our learners increased their knowledge about the importance of protecting animals by 185 %. 

Our fundraising campaigns through GlobalGiving brought us lots of emotions as well when we saw how YOU responded so positively and added your generous contribution to our need.

We have been able to maintain food and care for all the animals and even had the wonderful present of babies from Câline our beloved Dassie who is a great part of the family. 

I am personaly completely mad about this animal that I rescued years ago as a baby. With her by my side, I do not need a therapist when I am down. She just provides me all the love, faith and positivity that I need when I am down. Câline and her companion Little Boy are actually sleeping every night in my room with the dogs, and my husband!!! Suprisingly, our dassies also use our human toilets to do their business - they are very clean. 

Three weeks ago, we had a great surprise as Little Boy, who we thought was just a fat boy, gave birth to two babies in a corner of the camp!!!

Câline was definitely a female as she is very gentle J but so big that we knew she would also give birth. We were checking on her every day, listening to every breeze and seeing the babies moving in her tummy. We couldn’t wait and it seems it took forever! 

Last sunday, I could see that Caline had a strange behaviour. She pooped on the floor despite she always uses the bathroom. I immediately understood that she was going to give birth and took her to a calm area. I sat on the floor, did not hold her paw but I would have if I could!!! I was excited but so worried for her too. One hour later, right in front of me, a little dassies was born. Then the second came very quickly behind. At the beginning Caline didn’t know what to do with the 2 babies as it is her first litte but instinct kicked in very quickly. The babies are very vivid : jumping, climbing walls, impatient to discover the world. 

We thought the show was over when two hours later, a third baby popped out!!! Being weaker, bleeding from the umbilical cord, I immediately gave him first aid and today, the 3 babies are doing well. They are already having fun with their brothers, born 2 weeks earlier. 

I am happy to share the beautiful dassie birth video, hoping you will appreciate as much as I did to be part of this event. 

We thank YOU so much for your generous support toward the care of our animals. We wouldn’t have been able to make it without you during this COVID time. These baby Dassie are also YOURS so do not hesitate to let me know if you want to learn more about them. 

I sincerely hope you are all healthy on your side and as positive as we all are here at DAKTARI. 

Lots of love from DAKTARI and South Africa. 

Baby Dassie
Baby Dassie

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Magnus and Tobie
Magnus and Tobie

We are truly excited to welcome two beautiful cheetahs in our Wildlife Orphanage. Let's introduce them and share their story with you!

Meet Magnus and Tobie!

Magnus (11 years old) and Tobie (12 years old), both males, come from HESC (Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center) and arrived at DAKTARI on Friday, 16th October. 

They were both born at the center and they grew up together, as part of a cheetah breeding program. Although not blood related, we can practically say they are brothers! They are now retired breeders, and it was obvious we would take them both at DAKTARI so they could still be together!

Arrival at DAKTARI

On the 16th of October, two volunteers from DAKTARI had the opportunity to follow the entire process of moving the cheetahs from one place to another. Let us take you through their journey!

Magnus and Tobie had been placed in a separate enclosure so that Dr Ben Muller, the wildlife vet, could dart them safely. After a few minutes, the drug had worked and the cheetahs were both sedated. The vet then safely put on blindfold on them and started injected the required vaccines. He also proceeded to a TB test, and the results came back negative, which means they were ready to travel to DAKTARI!

We transported them in safe capture cages, and after an hour drive, they arrived at DAKTARI. We opened the doors, and they were both relaxed, walking away slowly, ready to explore and discover their new home!

Educating the children

As they have been living in captivity their whole life, Magnus and Tobie cannot be released into the wild. Therefore, we are extremely happy to be able to give them a forever home at DAKTARI! They will be living their old days in a large, peaceful camp, while educating the children. 

We are thrilled to have not only one, but two cheetahs to help us fulfill our mission to educate and inspire local children to value their environment and protect the wildlife of South Africa.

Sponsor our cheetahs!

If you wish to adopt/sponsor Magnus and Tobie, please consider setting up a monthly donation! The funds will help us feed them and care for them. 

Tobie
Tobie
Dr Muller doing the TB test
Dr Muller doing the TB test
Carrying the cheetah in the capture cage
Carrying the cheetah in the capture cage
Opening the doors to their new home
Opening the doors to their new home
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Sigourney the White Stork
Sigourney the White Stork

The Wildlife Orphanage is still up and running depsite the crisis we are going through. are glad to share the following updates with you.

  • DASSIES

The four youngsters of the dassie family had grown significantly so we decided it was time to let them go! The family of 6 dassies was released together end of June. We keep feeding them from time to time to help them adapt to their new environment. We can still see them running or climbing trees around camp!

We also had four other dassies in a seperate enclosure. Two of them (Caline and Little Boy) have also been set free after the death of their other two friends, Gini and Big Boy. They now live free in camp, and enjoy having their afternoon nap on the couch with Michele, or keeping warm by cuddling the dogs! 

  • CROCODILE RELEASE

Tugela had been rescued from a crocodile farm but it was now big enough to live a happy life in the wild. We explored different options as to where we could release him, and sadly the dam on our farm is drying up to quickly to consider it as a safe alternative. So, we safely transported him to the neighbouring farm around mid-July, where the flowing river is his new home! 

  • NEW RESIDENT

The Brigitte Bardot Foundation had kindly sponsored the building of an aviary that we finished a couple of months ago. And we have just welcomed the first resident of the aviary! Sigourney is a beautiful White Stork that has one of her wing permanently injured after she had flown into a fence. Thus, she cannot fly nor can she be rehabilitated and will stay at DAKTARI to live happy days while educating the children.

  • GOODBYE JACK

The lovely Myna Bird, Jack, sadly passed away last week. Jack was free during the day, landing on people's heads and shoudlers unexpectedly or having a sip of tea in the morning. He was also very talktative, imitating sounds around him! One evening, we did not manage to find him and bring him back to his enclosure for the night. The next morning, when we only found feathers scattered on the ground we understood that we will sadly not see him around again. 

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Feeding the mongoose
Feeding the mongoose

First of all, we hope that you and your family are keeping well during this crisis, and our thoughts go towards who has been impacted by the virus. 

Despite being in lockdown since March 27, DAKTARI still puts the well-being of the animals first and this is how we do it:

- During this period, everyone left at DAKTARI, whether it is staff, volunteers or office people, is helping out to make sure animals are keeping well.

- We sent all our staff home when the lockdown started, however our Animal Manager Johnson stayed to run our Wildlife Orphanage. Together with the few people left at DAKTARI, they take care of the animals daily. They do the morning and afternoon "stabling", which is feeding the animals and sweeping their enclosures.

- Big cleans of the enclosures are carried on as usual once per week. This is extremely important as this is when we desinfect fully the enclosures, check on the fences and gates and make sure the animals are safe and healthy. 

- These difficult times have a bright side: they allow us to have even more time for animal enrichment! Every day, we collect fresh branches and leaves to put in various enclosures, we stuff boxes with hay, worms and other treats to give to some animals, and we even made an Easter-themed enrichment! Animals are always very excited about it and they loved it. 

- On a sad note, one of our dassie called Big boy passed away last week. After being attacked and injured by other dassies, we took care of its injuries and put him in a seperate enclosure where he could recover. Unfortunately, despite Michele's love and care, he did not survive and is now resting in peace in our animal cemetery. 

- We are planning to release three squirrels that we handraised in the next days, as they are now big enough to live in the wild and to climb trees. We will miss them but we might still see them around the farm!

The wildlife orphanage is currently our biggest source of expense, as we still have to feed the animals and provide care even if we do not have any income from volunteers. We cannot emphazise enough how grateful we are for your support and help during these difficult times.

Any donation we receive makes a tremendous impact in our budget and relieve a bit of the stress we are currently going through.

Thank you and stay safe!

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We hope you had a good start of the year and that 2020 will be a year to remember! A lot has been going on at DAKTARI and we are very excited to update you on our Wildlife Orphanage.

We're excited to say that we were able to give quite a few of our resident animal friends a new start with the new year. We did 3 animal releases since our last newsletter that we are very proud of.

The first release was oue group of mongooses. We were able to give 12 of these little furry animals a new home on a neighbouring reserve where they quickly started exploring and playing!

The second release involved our beloved waterbuck Pacou. Pacou was getting too big and we wanted him to have the best life he could, so we walked him over to a nearby farm where he can hopefully join another herd of waterbuck.

We made a blogpost about both of these releases if you'd like to read a bit more about them!

And last but not least we set two of our squirrels free! During the year we get lots of little squirrels that are found in people's houses or fall from the roof. We had two of them in the past few months that were raised by our volunteers. Squirrels are really independent really quickly, so it was time for them to go their own way.

We wish them a happy and propserous life in the wild!

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Organization Information

DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

Location: Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Daktariafrica
Project Leader:
Michele Merrifield
Founder
Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province South Africa
$28,817 raised of $40,000 goal
 
748 donations
$11,183 to go
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