As the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary came into the second half of the year, July was the month that told both staff and volunteers that things were only going to get busier! July began in a hectic, albeit adorable manner when a quivering ball of golden fur was brought to the sanctuary. Jupiter, the orphaned caracal kitten came into the care of the project staff after her mother was killed, and after a short while was coming on leaps and bounds by literally leaping and bounding after her favourite plaything – a feather on a stick!
As mentioned July was a very busy month for all involved at the sanctuary. As well as Jupiter joining them, the volunteers and staff at the centre also; collared another cheetah for conservation monitoring, helped to distribute an incredible generous donation (from the Hochland 154 Roundtable) of blankets and toiletries to the Sans people, and take in another cheetah cub and baby baboon! There’s always a lot to do at the sanctuary for staff and the volunteers we help to send over there, but July was a particularly busy month!
August began with a celebration for everyone who works at the sanctuary as it was the 6th year of monitoring their resident super leopard Lightning! She happened to wander into a trap cage on the Neuras site and this meant that the staff could replace her tracking collar and continue the monitoring process! During the collaring process staff also noted that it was evident that Lightning had recently given birth to cubs, so there was all the more reason to celebrate!
The second highlight of the month was when Edward Pugh, the head teacher from the Latymer Prep School in London (which was mentioned earlier), visited the Clever Cubs School. Edward donated football shirts and shared his experiences with the local children who loved having him in the classroom and the chance to learn from him!
Tragedy struck the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary in September with the death of Meatball the Lion. After bravely battling against a suspected Honey Badger bite, Meatball succumbed after complications arose from the bite. He will be sorely missed by all over in Namibia, but he will be remembered for a long time to come.
As one animal sadly departed this world, another came into it and Emma the two-week-old baby baboon arrived at the sanctuary. Found on the roadside being sold into the pet trade, Emma was rescued by a caring family who then brought her to the project site.
The first arrival in October was another tiny baboon called Paultjie. Paultjie arrived still drenched in his mother’s blood and evidently traumatised by the event he had witnessed as his mother was shot and killed as a result. However, with the ever-present care that the centre provides Paultjie started to regain confidence as the month went on and by the end of October he was a bouncing ball of baboon bubbliness! He was joined by another two baby baboons during the month, and together they became a part of the ever-growing baboon clan at the sanctuary!
November is graduation time for the cubs at the wildlife sanctuary. Not the four-legged kind, but the children in the Clever Cubs school on the site. Five of the children in the programme graduated from the school and will now begin a new educational life in a mainstream school in Windhoek! They have been given an amazing chance to continue their learning thanks to the programme in place!
The team at the sanctuary also found a Cheetah baby and its mother in a cage after they had been caught by a local farmer. Before they relocated and released the pair, the team took the chance to put a tracking collar on the mother and fix a small wound the youngster had picked up. With this all sorted, the duo were ready to be released back into the wild and some volunteers who were lucky enough to be at the project at this time got to witness a successful rescue and relocation of a pair of beautiful animals!
DecemberDecember was a month to reflect on all that had happened in the past year for those at the project. Whether it be the multiple animal rescues, the many adoptions the sanctuary had to provide so that animals would have a safe “forever” home, or seeing the children in the clever cubs school graduate with flying colours, there was always something exciting happening at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. So much was achieved in 2015 but the work never ends at the site, so they still need more volunteers to help out. If you want to be a part of one of this incredible project then get in touch and we can help to make that happen. Here’s to an even better 2016!
If this look back at the sanctuary over the past year has inspired you to volunteer, then take a look at the project here and find out how you can get involved!
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