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Category Archives: Wildlife Rehabilitation

FaceBook page is up and Running, Pictures and more, Please Like, share and comment.

http://www.facebook.com/TheSanctuaryZA

After much deliberation and a very long time, we have finally opened up our Facebook Page which will enable other nature lovers and conservationists to share their photos, experiences, post events and more with us.

We would love to see you there.

The sanctuary Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation Centre in Ashburton, KZN, SA

The sanctuary Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation Centre in Ashburton, KZN, SA

 

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Aloe Festival KZN, Supporting our Wildlife, Environment and Planet

6-7 July 2013 – The Lower Mpushini Valley Conservancy is a sanctuary reminiscent of Wild Africa”. It is set in the beautiful savannah and valley bushveld of the Mkondeni and Mpushini River Valleys, only 10 km SE of PMB. The Mpushini Protected Environment (MPE) was declared in February 2011 bringing 665 hectares under formal conservation as a Biodiversity Stewardship Nature Reserve.

Directions, route map and activities for #AloeFestival on 6-7 July in Ashburton, KZN, #Environment, #Conservation #Wildlife

Directions, route map and activities for #AloeFestival on 6-7 July in Ashburton, KZN, #Environment, #Conservation #Wildlife

 

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Eco Focus – The new life #Literature #African #Stories #Kids #Freebies #Education #SaveOurPlanet #NaturesHideaway #Education #Wildlife

Eco Focus – The new life.

 

Eco Focus - Learning to be quiet in the wilds

Written by Elle Durow:

It is October, — almost the end of October, and the early spring flowers have finished their blooming for this year. It is growing too warm for those delicate plants that dare to brave even the August winds, and can withstand the frost better than the summer heat.

Down at the edge of the pool the tall reeds and sedges are tossing their heads a little in the wind, and swinging a little, lightly and lazily, with the motion of the water; but the water is almost clear and still this morning, with scarcely a ripple, and in its beautiful, broad mirror reflecting the trees on the bank, and the little points of land that run out from the shore, and give foothold to the old trees standing guard day and night, summer and winter, to watch over the stream.

Do you think now that you know how the pool looks in the sunshine of this October morning?

If we come close to the edge where the sedges are growing, and look down through the clear water, we should see some fearsome-looking and clumsy black bugs crawling upon the bottom of the pool.  They have six legs, and are covered with a coat of armour laid plate over plate.  It looks hard and horny; and the insect itself has a dull, heavy way about it, and might be called very stupid were it not for it’s eagerness to catch and eat every little fly and mosquito that comes within it’s reach.  It’s eyes grow fierce and almost bright; and it seizes its prey with an open mouth, and consumes it all day long, if he can find any thing suited to its taste.

I am afraid you may think that it is not very interesting, and will not care to make its acquaintance.  But, let me tell you, something very wonderful is about to happen to it; and if you stay and watch patiently, you will see what I saw once, and have never forgotten.

Here it is crawling in mud under the water this spring morning: out over the pool swim the flat water-boatmen, and the water-spiders dance and skip as if the pool were a floor of glass; while here and there skims a blue dragon-fly, with its fine, firm wings that look like the thinnest gauze, but are really extremely strong for all their delicate appearance.

The dull, black bug sees all these bright, agile insects; and, for the first time in its life, it feels discontented with his own low place in the mud.  A longing creeps through it that is quite different from the customary longing for mosquitoes and flies.

“I will creep up the stem of this rush,” he thinks; “and perhaps, when I reach the surface of the water, I can dart like the little flat boatmen, or, better than all, shoot through the air like the blue-winged dragon-fly.”

 But, as it crawls laboriously up the slippery stem, the feeling that it has no wings like the dragon-fly makes it discouraged and almost despairing.  At last, however, with much effort it has reached the surface, has crept out of the water, and, clinging to the green stem, feels the spring air and sunshine all about it.  Now let it take passage with the boatmen, or ask some of the little spiders to dance.  Why doesn’t it begin to enjoy itself?

Alas, see its sad disappointment.  After all this effort, after passing some splendid chances of good breakfasts on the way up, and spending all its strength on this one exploit, it finds the fresh air suffocating, and a most strange and terrible feeling coming over it, as the coat-of-mail, which until now was always kept wet, shrinks, and seems even to be splitting off while the warm air dries it.

“Oh,” thinks the poor bug, “I must die!  It was folly of me to crawl up here.  The mud and the water were good enough for my brothers, and good enough for me too, had I only known it; and now I am too weak, and feel too strange, to attempt going down again the way I came up.”

See how uneasy it grows, feeling about in doubt and dismay, for a darkness is coming over hits eyes.  It is the black helmet, a part of his coat-of-mail; that has broken off at the top, and is falling down over its face.  A minute more, and it drops below the chin; and what is its astonishment to find, that, as the old face breaks away, a new one comes in its place, larger, much more beautiful, and having two of the most admirable eyes! — two, I say, because they look like two, but each of them is made up of hundreds of little eyes.  They stand out globe-like on each side of his head, and look about over a world unknown and wonderful to the dull, black bug that lived in the mud.  The sky seems bluer, the sunshine brighter, and the nodding grass and flowers more gay and graceful. Now it lifts this new head to see more of the great world; and behold! as it moves, it is drawing itself out of the old suit of armour, and from two neat little cases at its sides come two pairs of wings, folded up like fans, and put away here to be ready for use when the right time comes: they are still half folded, and must be carefully spread open and smoothed for use.  And while he trembles with surprise, see how with every movement he is escaping from the old armour, and drawing from their sheaths fine legs, longer and far more beautifully and coloured than the old; and a slender body that was packed away like a magnifying-glass, and is now drawn out slowly, one part after another; until at last the dark coat-of-mail dangles empty from the sedges, and above it sits a dragon-fly with great, wondering eyes, long, slender body, and two pairs of delicate, gauzy wings, — fine and firm as the very ones it had been watching barely an hour ago.

The poor black bug who thought t was dying was only passing out of its old life to be born into a higher one; and see how much brighter and more beautiful it is!

And now I will tell you how, months ago, the mother dragon-fly dropped her tiny eggs into the water, which lay there in the mud, and by and by hatched out the dark, crawling bugs, so unlike the mother that she does not know them as her children, and, flying over the pool, looks down through the water where they crawl among the sedges, and has not a single word to say to them; until, in due time, they find their way up to the air, and pass into the new winged life.

If you will go to some pool when spring is ending or summer beginning, and find among the water-grasses such an insect as I have told you about, you may see all this for yourself; and you will agree with me, that nothing you have ever known is more wonderful.

 

The Save Our Planet Network is devoted to keeping people informed about what is happening to the world’s natural ecosystems, people’s livelihoods, etc as a result of human activities which are seriously damaging the quality of life on Earth.

 We also try to persuade people to be more compassionate and to care for all of Nature’s creatures from minute microbes to the largest mammals – this includes all humans who are also part of the natural world.

One of our main focuses is on educating people about what is happening and to try to encourage them to alter their lifestyles and attitudes to correct the damage that has already happened.

We do this by publishing a monthly e-news magazine, Eco Focus, and through the medium of the internet via our websites:

We also publish e-books which are also available free of charge on these websites.

via Eco Focus – The new life.

 

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Eco Focus – Ingwe – the leopard ~ An African Wildllife Story for Children #literature #Freebies by Elle Durow, Nature’s Hideaway #Conservation #Wildlife

Eco Focus – Ingwe – the leopard.

Eco Focus - Learning to be quiet in the wilds

Written by Elle Durow:

The sun had just disappeared below the horizon and Ngulube the bushpig made his way down the river bank to dig for tender succulent roots in the damp soil just above the waterline of the river.  He found a spot where the alien Syringa trees were growing and proceeded to dig for the soft roots with his snout.  He was particularly fond of the bark on the Syringa roots.

 As Ngulube dug a shadowy form materialised out of a thicket on the river bank above Ngulube.  As the form emerged from the darkness of the thicket its golden hide with black rosettes became visible.  It was Ingwe the leopard and she was on the prowl for something satisfy her hunger.  Leopards consider bushpigs to be a delicacy.  She spotted Ngulube below her and immediately lowered her body so as to reduce her silhouette and become less visible.  Silently she crept closer to Ngulube who was really enjoying his meal.  When she got close enough Ingwe suddenly leaped onto Ngulube’s back and sank her teeth into his neck.  Ngulube struggled for a while and became weaker as the blood drained out of the wounds that Ingwe had inflicted on him.  He didn’t last long and soon Ingwe started to feast on him, starting with his hindquarters.  When Ingwe had eaten her fill she dragged Ngulube’s remains up the river bank and hid them under some bushes in the thicket from whence she had come.

 Ngulube’s remains provided enough food for Ingwe to last her for a week.  During this time she would retire into her favourite thicket to lie around and rest during the day.  At night, just after dusk, she would slip out of her hiding place and feed on Ngulube’s carcase and then, when she had eaten her fill, she would go down to the river to quench her thirst.

 Towards the end of the week, as the sun was setting in the west, she suddenly smelt something that excited her for she was on heat.  The faint scent of a male leopard reached her nostrils.  At the same time the pheromones given off by Ingwe guided the male leopard to her.  A shiver of excitement ran through Ingwe as the male approached her through the bush.  Although she wanted to mate with him she would not surrender easily.  When he got nearer she snarled at him, but still he advanced on her.  When he got within striking distance she lashed out at him with her front paw and scratched him along his cheek.  He struck back at her, but only half-heartedly.  He also snarled at her.  After a while of this foreplay Ingwe submitted to the male and they united in the act of mating.  Thereafter she let out a sigh and led him to her favourite lair where they both lay down together and rested.

The male leopard stayed with Ingwe for another week during which they hunted together and killed an Impala which they dragged up onto the branches of a tree so that their food would be protected from the jackals that scavenge in the area.

 During the time that the male leopard spent with Ingwe they would often climb into a tall dead tree during the day so that they could observe all of the goings-on in the neighbourhood.

 

 

 

 

The Save Our Planet Network is devoted to keeping people informed about what is happening to the world’s natural ecosystems, people’s livelihoods, etc as a result of human activities which are seriously damaging the quality of life on Earth.

 We also try to persuade people to be more compassionate and to care for all of Nature’s creatures from minute microbes to the largest mammals – this includes all humans who are also part of the natural world.

One of our main focuses is on educating people about what is happening and to try to encourage them to alter their lifestyles and attitudes to correct the damage that has already happened.

We do this by publishing a monthly e-news magazine, Eco Focus, and through the medium of the internet via our websites:

We also publish e-books which are also available free of charge on these websites.

via Eco Focus – Ingwe – the leopard.

 

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The Sanctuary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre says Farewell to Red Cat the Caracul

The Sanctuary Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation Centre, Farewell to Red Cat the Caracul.

 

red cat, the caracul, the sanctuary wildlife care and rehabilitation centre

 

Update: Red Cat the Caracul (Karakal) has been a part of the Carpenter household for nigh on 18 years and a familiar sight to visitors and supporters of The Sanctuary.. Read his story below.

Sadly, Red Cat was put to rest on 01 September 2011, after battling old age for quite a while.

Although not endangered in this part of the world the caracul lives in its natural habitat in the wild for a period of around 8 to 9 years. Red Cat lived to twice this length of time in captivity. He had a good life and was well loved and certainly well respected by all who “met” him. (I mean, hello! Did you see those teeth?) As a youngster he would playfully jump onto Carol, who is only little – and probably half his weight. It was play time. He did not realize that he was no longer a playful little kitten who would sit on Garth’s shoulder, but a maturing and extremely solid – and heavy – creature of the wild who, due to circumstances, was unable to be released back into the wild.

There was not a time we visited The Sanctuary that we did not visit Red Cat, and almost every time he posed for a photo shoot. We have those images of him, which show him to be a well-loved and extremely well taken care of animal and these pictures bear testimony to the love and commitment Garth and Carol have for each and every one of their wards, whether temporary or permanent.

Love and thoughts are with these two amazing people who will no doubt feel his loss for a very long time to come. This photograph of Red Cat was taken during June 2011. What a magnificent creature!

 

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Welcome Tenants at The Sanctuary Wildlife Care and Rehab Centre, Photos

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The Sanctuary Wildlife and Rehabilitation Centre ~ “Wildlife Warriors”

“Wildlife Warriors”

Garth Carpenter is a retired game warden but a passionate herpetologist and wildlife warrior in South Africa. He has been interested in this field all his life & started collecting reptiles & snakes from the age of 10 years.

He was only 19 years old when he applied for a game warden post in Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia), appointed & dropped in the middle of 800sq. kilometers of bush with 4 game guards & was told: “Make a game reserve of this”. So the Kalulushi Game Reserve was born & remains today.

In the 8 years he was there he was game warden, conservation officer, teacher, educator & rescuer. In this bygone era there were man eater problems & crop raiders & so he was forced to track & shoot the following: 76 rogue buffalo, 10 rogue elephants, 27 man eating lions, 9 man eating leopards, 20 man eating crocodiles, 10 problem hippos (usually crop raiders that were attacking the villagers when confronted). Where possible he captured & relocated others. His records of letters & commendations bear testimony to this.

During this time he was part of “Operation Noah” when the Kariba dam was created & worked with Rupert Fothergill but from the Zambian side of the dam. But his passion for the animals & reptiles has remained. In 1961 he joined the then Natal Parks Board at Hluhluwe Game Reserve as their game management & control officer Because of his passion for wildlife & his compassion for the injured & orphaned wildlife at one stage he had the largest private collection of small mammals in South Africa. Most of these animals & reptiles were released into private conservation areas.

He was well known for the little orphaned & injured creatures that he cared for & kept at the house & released where possible. He was also an advisor & active participant of the pioneers in the Rhino capture & release programme in the Umfolosi &Hluhluwe Game reserves with Dr. Ian Player. Garth has always been interested in education of children & the public &his “Snake Park” at the local annual Royal Agricultural Show is well known. (The proceeds of this display go straight back to the wildlife they care for).

Garth is on call 24/7 for wildlife, birds & reptiles and the local Fire department, Police and hospitals have The Sanctuary’s contact numbers. He is often called to the hospitals to identify snake & snake bite wounds to ensure the correct treatment is given to the victim.

He assisted Dr. Phillip Cohen (one of the local surgeons) in creating his Power point presentation on Snakes & Envenomation to train the hospital personnel in identifying & treating victims of snake bite.

Garth is also an honorary officer for KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife which entails doing voluntary callouts for them as well. One of Garth’s call outs to track & capture poachers (remember he works alone) led him to an area in the bush where he found the poachers has already killed, skinned & removed a female grey duiker. He could hear a faint mewing sound of an animal. He traced it to the new born baby of the duiker that the poachers had impaled on a fence post but he was unable to save the baby.

One of the current tenants of The Sanctuary is another young grey duiker who was caught in a bush fire. When she came to us she was about 6 days old (she still had her drying umbilical cord on her). She was suffering from singed fur, burned ears, nose, legs & tail. She had inhalation burns from inhaling the hot air & smoke. The vet gave us inject able antibiotics for her but held out little hope. (Their vet does not charge consultation fees but any medicines &treatments are paid for).

Against all odds she pulled through. Her nose has peeled twice but has healed & re-pigmented. The tops of her ears were like potato crisps but the ears healed & the dried tops fell off. Her other burn wounds have healed, her fur re-generated & she has 2 short radar discs for ears but they function well. (She has been called Singey).

On another occasion a week old baby duiker brought in had a fractured & dislocated hip & an injured front leg. He underwent a hip replacement & the vet said he would only walk on the leg in 1-2 weeks. Within 3 days he was up & about, healed well & was released into a private game reserve when he was 18 months old. (He was named Bobby.) He has since paired up with a wild female & they have been seen around having produced their own young.

Garth and his wife Carol, who is also his lifelong partner in this venture and all others, rented a small piece of ground outside of Pietermaritzburg, after losing everything to an unscrupulous businessperson.The current place is too small to accommodate all of the un-releasable creatures that are used for breeding & release & education. These creatures are kept 13Kms away at an animal petting farm, which is Garth’s and Carol’s residence also.

Currently in their care at The Sanctuary are inter alia the following: Hadida Ibis, Egyptian geese, spur wing geese, spotted eagle owls, barn owls, white faced owls , wood owls, white faced whistling ducks, black ducks, yellow billed teal, caracal, crocodiles, various species of tortoises & terrapins, various aviaries of doves, pigeons, ring necks, pheasants, various guinea fowls, monitors, meerkat, rock hyrax, Cockatiels and about 400 snakes.

Garth makes all his own cages & aviaries & does all his own repair work. Garth & Carol only have 2 fulltime employees & one part time fellow to help clean cages & feed the animals.

Feeds are collected and prepared every evening for the following day.

Carol is a qualified nursing sister & works full time in an industrial clinic as well as help Garth with all the infants & injured brought in & she does most of the bottle feeding and medical treatments – their combined income goes into the wildlife. Unfortunately due to the rising costs in rent, fuel, staff wages, feed etc & Garth’s small pension The Sanctuary is finding it increasingly difficult to sustain their essential rehabilitation and education centre.

With the increased unemployment & the increased poaching they are constantly inundated with injured & orphaned animals & birds. Two rescue vehicles are utilised daily at the expense of Carol and Garth.

Fundraising events are held regularly, such as Garth’s “Campfire Tales of Africa” where he talks about different events in his career & Carol attends to all the catering singlehandedly.

Despite sending over 50 letters sent locally, nationally & internationally requesting assistance in some form the only response they had was from a local feed supplier who is able to donate some feed for the animals.

Garth spends 4 days a week running around collecting different feed for the various animals & birds as well as running the centre and rescuing injured animals. Garth’s dream has always been to have a conservancy where they can ultimately have a self-contained rescue centre that can hold the injured & orphaned & that they can release them onto the property.

Guides can then be trained to take visitors on “mini safaris” to see the animals & birds.

Having a place like this would then allow The Sanctuary to employ more staff to help care for the animals & relieve the pressures felt because of their passion & beliefs. A normal day at The Sanctuary starts at 0500 & ends about 2300.

 

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