Anyone who has been to DAKTARI or follows us regularly knows that we have a thing for dassies. With the successful release of our last dassies, Buddha and Lulu, there were no more dassies at camp!
Not to worry though, last week DAKTARI picked up seven more!
|Three of the dassies were handraised in the nearby province of Mpumalanga. The caretakers were not able to keep the dassies any longer and asked if DAKTARI would take them. All of the dassies are fully grown and we are hoping to be able to release them soon. One of the dassies, however, is sick and we are busy caring for him.|
|The other four dassies are small little babies that DAKTARI picked up from Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre. The mother of these dassies sadly died and now they require constant attention – something our volunteers are happy to help out with! The cute little dassies are settling in well. Again, we hope to release them when they are fully grown.
It’s never boring here at DAKTARI ☺
|If you have ever volunteered at DAKTARI, there is a good chance you have helped us raise a baby tree squirrel. If not, you have most definitely met Compton, our tame, breakfast-stealing tree squirrel. It is become a major part of DAKTARI's program in the summer and we almost always have a squirrel in our care.
Since September 2016, DAKTARI has cared for seven different baby squirrels. Two have been released, two are still in care, and the other three sadly didn't make it. The squirrels are fragile and we always prefer to have the mother take him or her back. However, the mother will sometimes abandon the baby if she is too scared to retrieve it. This often happens when the squirrel nests are in the roofs of the chalets, dorms, or other structures at DAKTARI.
A second chance at life!
Chancy came to DAKTARI after being found in a nearby farm from our local community. It is not unusual for baby antelopes to be left hidden in the bush by their mothers for extended periods of time. In order to prevent Chancy getting taken away from his mother, he was monitored for a few days to make sure whether the mother was around and would come back or not. After it became clear that the mother would not return, Chancy was picked up and brought to DAKTARI, as, without a source for nutrition at such a young age, he would have most likely not survived.
After three weeks with us, Chancy is growing bigger and stronger without any complications. He is being fed about every three hours and is even playing and building a friendship with the dogs! In particular with Nikita, who, after growing up with Piggy the Warthog, is used to inter-species friendships! They are playing as often as they can and Chancy has even wondered out from the protection of the antelope enclosure to explore the garden!
Chancy will stay with us at DAKTARI until he is old and strong enough to be released into the wild!
Chancy’s story reflects very well the impact that DAKTARI is aiming to make. On one hand, we want to change the mindset in the community towards valuing and taking care of the animals that they may come across. We do this by raising awareness and providing a safe place to bring abandoned or injured animals if they are found in the bush. Furthermore, these gestures by the community link in with our efforts to grant these animals with a second chance at life. Without this combined effort, we would not be able to give Chancy and many other animals throughout the years another opportunity at growing up or surviving injuries.
You can see how playful and healthy he is in the video below!
If you would like to contribute to the care of Chancy as well as that of all the other animals at DAKTARI, join our fundraising campaign on GlobalGiving and make a difference today!
We are happy to welcome Martin, an adult cheetah, to DAKTARI!
We are very excited to share with you the arrival of the newest member of our animal family!
Martin’s story is one that we are unfortunately too familiar with. He was rescued as a youngster alongside his brother after being kept in very bad conditions where they both heavily suffered. They were saved by the SPCA, yet Martin’s brother was not able to overcome his injuries and did not survive. After a short stay at the SPCA, the young cheetah was moved to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) where he recovered from his injuries.
Lente Roode, owner and founder of HESC, releasing Martin in his new home!
In addition to his recovery, Martin's life at the HESC has seen him actively take part in a number of their projects. He contributed to the cheetah population by playing an important role in their breeding program and successfully fathering three litters. This is not only an significant step towards maintaining and increasing the dwindling population of cheetahs in Africa (only 10,000 left!), but it has also been key in diversifying the gene pool at the HESC Cheetah Project.
As Martin is now old, losing his teeth and will never be able to be released back into the wild. The HESC accepted to donate Martin to DAKTARI where he will now be looked after by Ian and Michèle.
Martin will continue making a difference by providing an essential tool towards our mission of educating young underprivileged children about the environment. Being able to see one of Africa’s big cats in such close proximity provides another unique experience to appreciate the beauty of the local wildlife, be it big or small! Martin has a very spacious enclosure and we are making sure his privacy is respected.
As with many other animals which have come through DAKTARI, Martin is getting a second chance in life in a place where he will be cared for for the rest of his life.
"Martin, we are very honoured to have you at home and will make sure you have a majestic life."
If you would like to contribute to the care of Martin as well as that of all the other animals at DAKTARI, join our fundraising campaign on GlobalGiving!
A heartwarming story about the relationship between Anne and her Mongoose!
We often get injured animals coming to DAKTARI. The team of volunteers as a whole coordinates to make sure the animals are looked after and cared for if they are injured or need special assistance.
When Pilou arrived in late February she was taken in by the group of volunteers and nursed into a healthy baby mongoose. We found out that she was partially blind, possibly explaining why her mother left her. Slowly but surely we introduced her into her own enclosure next to Jackson and Leon, our two male, adult mongoose.
As time went on, she grew up and developed her adult fur, giving the general impression that she was growing up healthily. We later introduced her to another young female mongoose, Sonic. Due to her gentle nature and Sonic’s more instinctive and wild character, the relationship was not easy because of the imbalance of strength between the two. We tried to ensure that Pilou still ate, yet it became difficult to monitor as they were living together. In early May, on a cold Wednesday morning, Pilou was found during stabling under a tire in her enclosure, cold and barely breathing.
We quickly reacted, taking her into care and warming her up. Due to her weak state, Michele asked the volunteers if they could stay with her all day to monitor her health. Anne, one of our dutch volunteers, jumped at the opportunity, beginning what has turned out to be beautiful relationship between Pilou and her.
Over the course of the following weeks, the pair have become inseparable. Anne has become Pilou’s surrogate mother, constantly keeping her by her side or even within her sweatshirt’s sleeves! Anne prepares all the food for her every day to ensure that she is eating properly and she is hydrated. She loves to eat scrambled eggs, sausages, cucumber and pawpaw, but Anne says that she is a very messy eater!
The two can often be found sitting together on the couch while Anne is not doing lessons. Their relationship never takes breaks, as they even sleep next to each other! Moreover, because of both of their friendly natures, the children often interact with Pilou, providing a very enriching experience and one very many children enjoy.
Unfortunately, due to her nature, it is unlikely that Pilou will ever go back into the wild, but for the time being, her close relationship with Anne will nurture her to get strong and healthy again. We strongly believe that Anne’s positive energy saved Pilou’s life!
Yesterday we released Piggy Piggy back into the wild.
Needless to say, spirits have been rather low around the camp today. Our baby warthog Piggy was set free into the wild yesterday. We have been on the edge of our seats waiting for her to try and sneak into the office, or jump on the couch to play with Nikita. We then realise that she is not around any more!
After coming to DAKTARI nearly seven months ago in a very frail state of health, Piggy grew up around the camp into a big and healthy warthog. She was sometimes naughty and liked to eat the food of the other animals, as well as occasionally going into volunteer's rooms to roam around for more food. But beyond her sometimes annoying territorial behaviour on the couch, Piggy touched us all both physically and emotionally.
She is now big enough to go back into the bush and fend for herself. Although yesterday was a very sad day because of having to let go of her, Piggy's release is something to celebrate as she is going back to where she should be!
Goodbye Piggy! We hope to see her soon with her new family of warthogs!
To ensure the continuity of our project to take care of wildlife, support us here!
We recently rescued a civet!
As you may know from following us on social media, earlier this week we rescued a civet from a nearby farm. She was badly hurt and malnourished so we quickly took her to the vet, where it was discovered that she had been hit by a car a few weeks ago. This had damaged her front right leg and her hips, leaving her with a severe limp. Later that evening she came to the farm, where she is slowly but surely recovering ever since. Following the suggestions of our friends on social media, and the appearance of the animal, we have decided to name her Zorro!
Our new civet is adapting to her new life at DAKTARI. It is not always something good when a wild animal comes into the camp, but seeing the poor state it was in when it first got here, it was evident that it would not have survived in the wild. She is eating well and is getting more and more comfortable with wondering around at night!
To give a little more background to Zorro, here are a few facts on Civets.
Despite their cat-like appearance and behaviours, the African Civets are not felines at all but are in fact, more closely related to other small carnivores like Mongooses. The facial features of the animal resemble the racoon, with the characteristic black band around the eyes. It is most well known for the musk that it secretes to mark it's territory (called Civetone), which has been used in the manufacturing of perfumes for centuries. Moreover, it is a solitary animal with a nocturnal nature, coming out under the cover of night to hunt.
To support Zorro as well as the rest of the animals at the farm, donate here!
We released a new porcupine on our farm!
Earlier this week we released an adult cape porcupine which we picked up from a nearby farmer! Another successful story which reflects in some way the impact that we are trying to make in the community. Through the education which we give the children, we hope that they will be inspired to make a difference in their communities by sharing what they have learned. It is very encouraging for our work to know that instead of choosing the easy way and killing the porcupine which was damaging his crops, we were called to take it to our farm.
It can now live in the wild and maybe even join the large group of porcupines living at the DAKTARI farm!
To continue our efforts to provide animals with the best care in order to make releases like this possible, help us by donating to our campaign here!
We released a Large spotted Genet at Leopard Rock!
It is always a mix of emotions when an animal is released back into the wild. Although not always a good thing, an emotional link is made with every animal that comes through DAKTARI, so seeing it go brings a tinge of sadness. On the other hand, returning it into its natural habitat is something which brings joy as it is going back where it was always meant to be!
This large spotted genet came from Moholoholo Rehab Centre about a month ago, and we are thrilled to be able to set it free again now that it has grown bigger and strong enough to survive in the wild. As an animal sanctuary, DAKTARI's Wildlife Orphanage does not often do releases so being able to do this on our farm is something which we take pride in. Due to the nature of the animal and the stress that transporting it brings on its own, we decided to do this aside from the children to prevent any unfortunate incidents. As it is nocturnal, we sometimes forget that these are wild animals who can and will bite!
To continue our efforts to provide our animals with the best care in order to make releases like this possible, help us by donating to our campaign here!
Although short, we hope that this video shows you the speed of this beautiful animal as well as how well it camouflages! We couldn't see it once it got into the bush!
Farewell little one!
General: The banded mongoose is a sturdy mongoose with a large head, small ears, short, muscular limbs and a long tail, almost as long as the rest of the body. The Banded Mongoose is not an endangered species, the development of agriculture in the continent has had a positive influence on their numbers as crops of the farmland serve as an extra food source.
Interesting fact: Mongoose are highly social, living in packs of about a dozen, typically up to about 30. Packs sleep together and forage in loose groups, each mongoose obtaining its own food. Groups live in home ranges which may be territories, as meetings between groups are aggressive. Each home range contains several dens which are used in rotation for a few days at a time.
Pilou, the little tiny girl
Personal history: Pilou has been found by a neighbour in her garden. After it was obvious she was abandoned by her family, she took this little tiny mongoose and call DAKTARI to take care of her. Pilou arrived in February 2015, at 3 weeks old. She looks very friendly and curious to discover the world. In a few months when she will be ready and strong enough, she will join Jackson and Leon, our two others Banded Mongooses.
Would you like to sponsor Pilou?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, thank you!
Jackson and Leon
Personal history: A lady from Tzaneen found Jackson (picture on the left) in January 2015 alone in her garden. Quite friendly and tame, we think that this male Banded Mongoose was hand raised by humans and maybe escaped. He was very happy to find Leon and those two seem very good together.
Leon (picture on the right) arrived at DAKTARI a few years ago with a brain disease. Indeed, he just turns around in circles all the time. It was too risky to release him with the others 11 Banded Mongoose into the wild and Leon stayed at DAKTARI. Little by little, new lonely mongooses arrive in the camp and Leon appreciates the company! Soon, we will organise another rehabilitation project, with the long term goal being a release of them into the wild.
Would you like to sponsor Jackson and Leon?
Please email email@example.com for more information, thank you!