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Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation in the strongest terms condemns the recent killing of a critically endangered Black Rhino in Namibia, by Mr. Corey Knowlton, for a hunting trophy.

 

The word ‘Conservation’ means the following:

1. The act or process of conserving.

2. Preservation or restoration from loss, damage, or neglect.

3. The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of
wildlife and of natural resources such as forests, soil, and water.

Conservation most certainly does not mean the exploitation and sensationalizing of the trophy hunting of a Black Rhino which people all over the world are desperately trying to protect and save from extinction.

Let’s look at some of the issues surrounding this controversy:

The rhino poaching in Namibia is completely out of control. With around 65 Rhino Carcasses of a limited population found in just the last few months, every rhino life is precious and should be treated as such. Most of the animals being poached here are Black Rhino. Namibia desperately needs an anti-poaching plan that can work. The exorbitant sum of money paid by Mr. Knowlton and the Dallas Safari Club could have been used to set up a decent anti-poaching program. Despite what we are being told, there is no guarantee that this will happen now.

 

Corey Knowlton pictured above on his way to kill the endangered Black Rhino.

It could also have been donated outright to for instance Black Rhino breeding programs or projects such as @Rhino Rescue Project (for horn infusion), but then Mr. Knowlton would not have the head on his wall in a few weeks.

Another option was that Mr. Knowlton could have done a ‘green hunt’, a process whereby by the animal is darted with sedatives in order to facilitate relocation. He could still have filmed it, taken his pictures to tell the tale, with the exception that one of these precious beings would still have been alive. These options had been presented to Mr. Knowlton and the DSC during the time of the auction by an organization called Live Trophy, who offered to refund Mr. Knowlton his money, and carry all costs of relocation. A suitable, safe site to move the Rhino to had been identified and secured. These talks had been shut down by Mr. Knowlton, because in actual fact, he just wanted the trophy, or in his own words “I want to intimately experience a Black Rhino”.

The Government of Botswana has joined the ranks of thousands of organizations outraged at the fact that no other options were entertained. Botswana indicated in an official statement that they would have been honoured to take the (live) rhino into their safekeeping.
In response to statements made that the rhino was a problem animal – these PAC (Problem Animal Control) permits need to be executed within two weeks of the verified complaint. Not fifteen months later.

As per the CNN televised footage, this area was frequented by only three rhino, of which two had been identified by the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism as possible targets to be shot. It now has two, and it is just not possible to be certain that this population will survive or expand. Often, the older, more dominant bulls carry the strongest genes, the same ones that nature selects to be carried over to their offspring. Now we will never know, and this specific population of black rhino might as well be officially declared extinct. It is very clear from the articles and footage of journalists attending the hunt, that this bull was still healthy and fit. After all, it took him more than 30 minutes to collapse and die after being shot.

 

 

Knowlton having shot and killed this precious endangered Black Rhino.

Mr. Knowlton had the gall to say that the hunting conditions were brutal. Actually, brutal is working for years, sleeping in tents, exposed to the elements, in constant danger of being killed by poachers, in constant hardship, under-equipped and under-valued, just to protect our remaining rhinos from being poached. Watching your fellow rangers being murdered, and the precious beings entrusted to your care being slaughtered mercilessly. Because this is the reality of what a ranger faces, every day. In fact, to earn the equivalent of what Corey Knowlton spent to kill the rhino, a ranger would have to work for more than fifty years. To put it bluntly, with this blood money, Corey Knowlton could have paid the salaries of around one hundred (100) rangers for a full year. Is it becoming more obvious where priorities should have been?

As it stands now, the USD350k has been swallowed up into the coffers of a notorious ‘Conservation’ fund which has not been forensically audited in years, and it is highly unlikely that transparency will be at the order of the day.

As for the meat being supplied to the villagers, suffice to say that it is probably the most expensive meat they will ever eat. Together with the live relocation and reimbursement option, offers were made to Mr. Knowlton to set up self-sustaining small farming practices for the villagers (including complete training and education), supplied with goats that could reproduce and crops that if correctly managed would have been able to feed them for the rest of their lives, not just for the fifteen minutes of that much-prostituted picture.

There were other options which would have made Corey Knowlton a hero in the eyes of every person on this planet who loves animals, and he was aware of those options.

The professional hunter, Mr. Hentie van Heerden, who accompanied Mr. Knowlton on this hunt, is no stranger to controversy. In 2008 it was Mr. Van Heerden who held the hunting permit for Voortrekker , iconic Desert Elephant and ‘founding father’ of all the present few individuals in small herds living in the Kunene and Damaraland regions of the Namib. This permit was bought out from him (saving Voortrekker’s life as a living trophy), and Van Heerden killed another elephant instead. It would be interesting to know how much Mr. Van Heerden has been paid for his services, as his public profile now implies ‘retirement’.

Fewer people are aware that a second permit has been issued by the Namibian MET, for the Hunting of another Black Rhino.
Michael Luzich paid USD200k for his permit. He also received permit approval for the importation of the trophy from USFWS. 'Luzich has close ties to the person who 'accidentally' shot a Pregnant Black Rhino cow in Mangetti, in a highly controversial blunder of epic proportions. Is he going to follow through, or dare we hope that he may have learnt something from the Knowlton fiasco?

The fact that the US Fish & Wildlife Services approved the trophy import permits despite having been flooded with thousands upon thousands of comments opposing, is quite puzzling. The public comment period was a pacifier, as no heed was paid to any comment opposing the permit. The involvement of the Save the Rhino Trust and the WWF in this controversy is quite alarming to say the least, as is the recent admission of the Dallas Safari Club into the IUCN. It certainly seems like every animal on this planet has its price, no matter how critically endangered. Everything can be bought with enough money and political clout.

Even the life of one of only a few thousand critically endangered Black Rhino left in the world!.

©WHWF
Photograph by Wild Heart

10-5-2015

Pretoria-. Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says her department continues to make progress in the war against rhino poaching.

The minister held a media briefing on Sunday in which she said the department remained committed in providing accurate information in relation to the scourge of poaching.

She said the fight against rhino poaching needed to be waged by every one in society saying that government alone will not win the battle.

The minister said  that the department recorded a number of successes as its strategies to disrupt criminal syndicates were starting to bear fruit.

"Be that as it may, by the end of April 2015, the number of rhino we lost to poachers was 393 for the whole country, of these, 290 were poached in the Kruger National Park,” she said.

By last year this time, the number of rhino lost to poachers were 331 for the whole of the country and 212 for the Kruger National Park 

Minister Molewa said government was not losing the battle. “We are not losing the battle, we are soldiering on as you would have noticed that by the end of April this year, we’ve a total of 132 people were arrested for rhino-poaching related activities,” she said adding that 62 were arrested in the Kruger National Park as at the end of April this year,” she said.

However, losses continue to increase in the Kruger National Park, figures in the rest of the country show either a decrease or stabilisation compared to last year’s pattern.

“What is encouraging through is the increase in the number of arrests we’ve recorded this year. To assist in the fight against poaching, our security forces working with SANParks have upped their technological game,” she said.

Minister Molewa  said given the magnitude of the problem, as well as the fact that rhino poaching is inextricably linked to organised transnational crime, it requires an escalation of everyone efforts to achieve the objective.

National Commissioner, General Riah Phiyega said in recent years, the trend for poaching has accelerated due to the high value of ivory and rhino horn on the international black market especially in Asia.

“We are equally vigilant outside the Kruger National Park, between January and April this year, we’ve already arrested 64 people inside the Park, while we’ve arrested 66 outside the Park. Within the four months period recovered 16 firearms, 99 rounds of ammunition, nine vehicles, and 13 rounds of horns, 27 axes and knives.

“Between July and December 2014, we recovered 53 firearms, 228 ammunition, nine vehicles, 20 horns, 42 axes and knives,” she said.

Improved technology to curb poaching

Minister Molewa said to assist in the fight against poaching,  security forces working with SANParks have upped their technological game. "We received an initial grant funding of R254.8 million in 2014 to support anti-poaching operations in the Kruger National Park. This incorporated the establishment of ‘Air Mobility’ capacity’ and included the purchase of a first helicopter through the grant funding in September 2014."Subsequent to the initial grant funding, the Howard G Buffet Foundation granted SANParks an additional R37.7 million to purchase a second Airbus AS350 B3e helicopter to further increase the capacity of flight operations in the KNP.

In March this year, SANParks received this second new Airbus AS-350B3e helicopter with night flying capability. It has subsequently been commissioned and has been assisting in the fight against poaching. In addition to increasing current flight crew capability of flying at night, the helicopter is expected to improve response time in dealing with contacts and other incidents in the park. "Just recently, the helicopter assisted in a dramatic pre-dusk swoop inside the KNP that netted four suspected poachers as well as a range of poaching equipment.

The improved aerial support to the rangers of the ground, and the increasing capacity of the canine unit have assisted in improving the effectiveness of the anti-poaching operations in the Kruger National Park, with 28 arrests having been effected in the month of April of this year." The SANDF, SANParks and the CSIR are piloting and evaluating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as instruments in rhino protection efforts under a range of operational conditions. This is subject to finalisation of arrangements with the Department of Transport.

To further bolster the abilities of the rangers to conduct their work,  Minister Molewas said field rangers and law- enforcement personnel have undergone rapid skills assessment to determine their current skill levels and training requirements by the Southern African Wildlife College and the Kruger National Park. Further training in this regard is continuing.

Source -SAnews.gov.za

Johannesburg – Lifting the existing ban on trade in rhino horn is a hot topic in South Africa and the rest of the world. 

- Hanti Schrader

Many say it is an exercise in futility because even if the ban were to be lifted, it would take at least 10 years to finalize administrative arrangements, and by then it could be too late to save the rhino.

Lobbyists for or against trade made presentations before the Rhino Horn Trade Committee of Inquiry (RHTC) on March 25 and 26. The current regulations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) forbids trade, Lowvelder reported.

Anti-trade activist and conservationist Ian Michler told Lowvelder: “A change in the regulations must be motivated by showing that poaching will be significantly reduced, and the long-term survival chances of rhino will be increased. This should be done in the same way that a judge cannot convict on circumstantial evidence.”

In his presentation to RHTC, the biggest farmer of rhino in the world, John Hume, also a member of the Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA) and pro-trading, said it had been in the first place wrong to stop the legal supply of horn and that it was a hysterical step taken by CITES in 1977 and 2008.

“The demand is not going to go away, but what we have done was to give poachers a foot in the door in the first place.”

Hume added that most of the communities close to the Kruger National Park (KNP), the Limpopo or Mozambican Transfrontier Park have always successfully farmed with cattle, and so it would be easy to convince them to farm with rhino, as the money they could make would make a big difference to their financial status.

Other pro-traders suggested treating poachers and poaching as a level 5 crime with a minimum sentence of 15 years and to label legal rhino horn as such so that users could differentiate between poached and legally harvested horns. Anti-traders suggested that legalising trade in horns could increase the market for the product.

Last year, more than 1 200 rhino were poached in South Africa alone. In Africa an estimated 28 500 rhino are still standing, of which 21 000 are from South Africa.

Caxton News Service

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WHWF is a registered NPO Reg:147-339 and PBO Reg: 930051372 Dedicated to helping Wildlife in Need

Meet Rafiki and Hatari, two of the male Lions that needs our help!

Having been approached by the relevant Governing Authorities, we have agreed to manage and fund a life-saving Project that will ensure that a number of lions are given a future at a new forever home.

 #Life4Lions What?

The #Life4Lions Project entails certain Veterinary Procedures (like Vasectomies - Phase 1), Veterinary care, Micro-Chipping, DNA sampling and recording, Vaccinations and Health Checks, Relocation and Transport of, in total, 21 captive lions, to safe, ethical, forever home sanctuaries. One of the family units will remain at the current sanctuary after all procedures have been completed.

 #Life4Lions Where?

The location of these animals is being withheld upon request of our collaboration partners, EMI (Environmental Management Inspectorate – aka Green Scorpions).

 #Life4Lions Why?

Currently the lions are in a safe, ethical, non-breeding facility, but their numbers are exceeding the recommended saturation levels as instructed by Nature Conservation. Consequently, we have received instruction from the Authorities to find the excess lions suitable forever homes, rather than risking the lions being euthanized.

#Life4Lions How?

Phase one of #Life4Lions is performing Vasectomies on two of the young breeding-age males. This is to ensure that they cannot father any cubs, and protect them from the exploitation by the canned hunting and lion breeding industries.
The further phases are geared towards ensuring the health of all the lions and making sure they have as happy a life as possible in suitable permanent, ethical sanctuaries.

#Life4Lions When?

As soon as we have raised enough funding to cover the cost of the surgeries (vasectomies x 2), Phase 1 is a go!

#Life4Lions Who?

Two male lions who are our main priority right now, during Phase 1 - #Rafiki (Friend in Swahili) and #Hatari (Danger in Swahili). These two young lions will each undergo a vasectomy. This is preferred over castration that may result in the loss of their manes.

#Life4Lions How can You Help?

Veterinary Procedures on ToPS species (Threatened or Protected Species) are extremely expensive, but we are confident that with your help, we can get this done, if you support Phase 1 of our very special Lion Project.

Please #Donate towards the cost of the surgeries to be performed on these two lions. This is your chance to help give them a good life. Every cent counts!

There are just too many lions in captivity in South Africa, and the devastating reality is that far too many of them will end up being sold to canned hunting facilities, and be disposed of in the lion bone trade.

Lions like these two boys, Rafiki and Hatari, can never be free: captive born and raised, they have never learnt to hunt, and never will. The best they can have will be a long healthy life in a forever home where they can be appreciated from afar - through the lens of a camera.

Our vet is ready, our permits are being processed - all we need now is your support to make this a reality, and give these two young lions the chance to live safely, without any possible hint of future exploitation.

We cannot save them all - but we can help these two. Will you help us make this possible?

You can help Rafiki and Hatari by supporting Phase 1 of our very special Lion Project

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Help a Ranger, Help a Wildlife Hero Today

We are supporting our brave Rangers by providing them with supplies needed on the front line, where they continue to fight the war against Poaching.

We are making up care packages consisting of a variety of non-perishable foods, a Blanket, Beanie hat, Field gloves, Extra thick socks, a small Torch and lighter, sunblock, Mosquito repellent, pain tablets, re-hydration medication and a WHWF cap with clip-on LED lights to keep their hands free while providing illumination. (Value: approx $70- $100 per package)

These care packages will be packed into 10x50 litre Camouflaged Military backpacks that we have already secured for the Rangers.

We are committed to helping our wildlife in every way possible, therefore helping the Rangers who put their lives on the line to protect them is critically important.

Help us honour these Heros by making a contribution towards their supplies. No amount is too small.

 please reference your donation with #HelpaHero.

We also need boots, rain gear, jackets and water bottles for the Anti-Poaching Rangers. 
Help us support these Rangers who protect our Wildlife.

South Africans may find it more convenient to EFT a donation at: 
First National Bank / Check Account
Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation
Account number - 62518554101
Branch Code - 250-655

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Pictured below is the recent delivery Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation made to the Rhino Orphans.

The bigger rhinos get a mixture of lucerne/teff and Game Cubes of a high quality.The vet recommendation is to serve up 6 x 50kg bags of Game Pellets per day. One bag is R250 or USD20, and this means a daily serving is approximately USD120. Those cute round butts don't come cheap! 
 
 Pictured below is WHWF delivering Milk replacement, medication and other needed supplies

Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation regularly and consistently supplies the rhino orphanage with everything they need to look after the precious victims of poaching in their care. Over the past four years, we have supplied more than ZAR1.2million’s worth of special milk, food, medication, capital and infrastructure items to help the dedicated human carers to continue saving baby rhino lives.

#WHWF always makes sure that your loving donations are maximized and directly reach the Wildlife most in need. We work off wish-lists that detail the items required to run these special rehabilitation projects. This ensures that the help we provide is targeted, direct, and needed – and makes a real difference to the wildlife, thus maximizing the probability of survival of these precious #WildBabies.

Help save a #RhinoOprhan’s life today ! Help us Help them. <3

Below is little Nandi. just one of the orphans we help so that eventually she can be released back into a safe haven in the Wild.

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Rescue of a Critically Endangered White Backed Vulture. South Africa may be on #LockDown, but our Wildlife still need help!

Armed with our permits as Essential Service Providers, a custom-modified cage, and loads of hand-sanitizer, we set off on the 900km round-trip journey to rescue an injured #WhiteBackedVulture.

Found in a farmer's field, this weak, dehydrated vulture is estimated to have been in distress for about ten days. We carefully caught and loaded it into the travel cage. It had enough life left to lunge at us at one stage - this was a good sign.

Four hours after leaving the farm, we arrived with our precious cargo, and handed it over into the expert hands of VulPro Vulture Rehabilitation Center. 'Kwaaitjie' (Angry One), as the farmer named it, is expected to make a full recovery and be released into the wild.

We need to carry on performing essential services such as Wildlife Rescue and Transport during this challenging time. Please consider donating towards our fuel costs so that we can continue helping those that have no voice.

You can contribute here: paypal.me/wildheartwildlife or payfast.co.za/donate/wildheartwildlifefoundation

  • South Africans can EFT at:   
  • First National Bank / Cheque Account:
  • Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation
  • Account number - 62518554101
  • Branch Code - 250-655   Ref: fuel

We rely completely on the kind support from the public.

#WHWF #EthicalConservation #Covid19

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"Mission Wildlife Matters" Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery Supply Drop:

Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation successfully delivered lots of items needed to help the precious wild babies and their caregivers!
Thank you to all the generous donors who made this project a success - we could not have done it without the public's generosity. 
The Ellie Babies got lots of special milk, Medical supplies, Blankets and more. The dedicated handlers received new uniforms, Rain gear, Boots, warm Jackets, Scarves & Gloves among lots of  other needed supplies. 

The wild babies and all the wonderful people who care for them deserve as much help as we can give.

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A Year in Review - looking back on 2019:

At Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation, we pride ourselves on doing what we say and showing what we do. This video is an account of some of the work we did during 2019.

Rescues and Releases, Emergency Transport, Fitment of Tracking devices, Treatment of Wildlife, Supply of Capital Items, Food and Veterinary Consumables, Anti-poaching Funding and Support, Poaching Response, Public Education and so much more - we did it all.

Out of all that we have done, the best feeling in the world is to give the gift of Freedom to a wild animal.

We are only two individuals, doing all we can, (with limited resources) to make a difference in the lives of those who have no voice; "our precious wildlife", and will continue to do so no matter what challenges present themselves. #WildlifeFirst .

We would like to thank all our supporters and donors for making our work possible. In 2019 alone, your loving support positively impacted the lives of hundreds of animals.
Thank you.

As always, we are #DoingWhatWeSay and #ShowingWhatWeDo.

We are committed to #EthicalConservation and #Transparency, and intend to make 2020 a bumper year to benefit the Wildlife most in need.

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Christmas at The Rhino Orphanage. 'Wild Heart Santa' Visits the Rhino Babies .

With the Holiday Season in full swing, there was no better feeling in the world than being able to do something special for someone else!

And that's exactly what we did for The Rhino Orphanage, on Christmas eve. The biggest, most needed item, is of course the industrial Tumble Dryer that is being put to work immediately, drying the blankets, towels and sheets needed in the care of all the patients. And at the moment, it is crucially important in the care of Kolisi, the Rhino baby who has been attacked by hyenas, and needs constant high care. Keeping his blankets clean and dry with all the rain is a full-time job made so much easier with the addition of the dryer.

With the kind support of our loving donors, we also delivered a whole bunch of extra happiness, in the form of so many essential items. Thousands of latex gloves in all different sizes, gauze, hundreds of single plasters (band-aid) and hundreds of rolls of plaster. The sacred one-ply toilet paper, hundreds of scalpel blades, Arnica for sore muscles, washing powder for #RhinoOrphan blankets, and many more essential items.

Two of the anti-poaching personnel got brand-new heavy duty rainsuits and they were over-joyed!

We took some treats for the carers too, so that they also know how we appreciate their loving care, and being away from their families over Christmas.

None of this is possible without the loving support from you, our earth angel donors. Than you!

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We Sent The Troop Home: Vervet Monkey Relocation

Over the past few years these monkeys have been lovingly cared for by Bambelela, where they formed a new troop with an intricate family structure. We met the Cheeky/Jemima troop on our first supply drop to the primate rehab, and we made them a silent promise to help where we can. We jumped at the opportunity to provide these #WildBabies with the chance to live wild and free like they were meant to.

With the loving support from our followers, we were able to supply building materials for the soft-release enclosure, as well as medications, vaccinations and food for the animals and their human carers; and help to transport these monkeys more than 450km to their new home.

There are many people involved in an operation like this, and the capture, treatments and loading were done in a record time of five hours. Fresh, juicy fruit is put on top of the transport cages, so that they can snack on it for hydration during the long, tiring journey. The cages are then covered by netting to protect them during transport, and everything is properly secured.

A six hour drive, also over a very dangerous mountain pass, in pouring rain, mist and freezing cold, eventually saw us arriving at the release site at 11pm at night. By the headlights of the trucks, the monkeys were off-loaded in their crates. Excitedly, they waited, while they were let into the soft-release enclosure according to a strict hierarchy. Cheeky, the matriarch, was first, followed by mommies with babies, and the teenagers.

FREEDOM DAY!

Freedom Day came late to these little guys, with 6 monkeys needing extra treatment. They responded well and were returned to the troop.
Here they are dashing for freedom. 


Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project.
Well done to Bambelela, Silke, Belinda and all the others who made it possible for these little guys to live free.
#WHWF
#EthicalConservation

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 Wonderful to see these precious Rhino poaching survivors as they play in their safe environment while in the rehabilitation process at the orphanage.

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Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation has to date supplied a significant portion of supplies to Rhino Orphanages in South Africa, including thousands of kg's of replacement milk powder, specialized food and health supplies and critical care medical items as well as other desperately needed equipment such as shovels, spades, rakes and cleaning materials, Shade netting, Field fencing for the Wild Dogs, Anti-Poaching Ranger gear and camera traps to help protect the Lions in the Sanctuary - all required to keep the orphanages and sanctuary operational. 

  
 

Doing What We Say, and Showing What We Do!

What We Do!

 
Milk Replacement and Pro-biotic Supplement needed for Baby Rhinos.
The Rhino Orphanage has several Milk-dependent orphans that need a constant supply of milk replacement formula and pro-biotic supplement. Your help to purchase these life-saving items would be much appreciated.
One x 25kg of Milk replacement is approx $65. and the Protexin pro-biotic is approx $35 per tub.
                Protexin is a palatable multi-strain probiotic powder which, when administered routinely, helps to ensure a beneficial balance of digestive tract micro-organisms. It is a completely natural biological product which helps to boost immunity, which in turn enables the Rhinos to resist the effects of stress and infections.    Please help us purchase as many tubs of this life saving Protexin as possible.      
South Africans may find it more convenient to EFT a donation at: 
First National Bank / Check Account
Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation
Account number - 62518554101
Branch Code - 250-655
 
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Urgently needed: Good Quality, Humane, Capture and Release Cages.
Because of our commitment to Ethical Conservation, and making the best possible decisions for the Wildlife Most at Risk, we are increasingly being called upon to Rescue and Relocate/Release Wildlife that are deemed to be 'problem animals'.

We will do whatever it takes, and whatever is in our power, to help these animals to Freedom and Safety.

But we need your help: We are in urgent need of 5x medium capture cages, and one large one - this is to safely remove a colony of Dassies (Hyrax) that have invaded a home. The bigger cag