Because of global warming, weather patterns are changing world-wide
and the current drought is greatly affecting our African wild life. Bush fires,
caused by human carelessness, have contributed to the lack of grazing.
From the Northern province, where the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation
Education (CARE) is based, founder and director Rita Miljo reports as follows:
"We are now in the third year of a terrible drought. Last season
we had only a few local showers here and there, in Dec./January and nothing
further. You have no idea how bad the bush looks. Besides our wild baboon
troop which now depends entirely on us to pull them through, we are having
up to fifty or more "wild" warthogs camping at the kitchen door. There is no
fear of man any more, only the thought of survival. There is no possibility of
buying lucerne - on the odd occasion when it is available, the prices are
astronomical and I have now resorted to buying cabbages for everyone. You
should see the long line of bushbuck, kudu and giraffes standing there waiting
for a mouthful of food. Cabbages is all I can afford. Luckily I can still get them
but we are spending R675 every other day to buy enough just for the wild
animals that are knocking at our doors. Our baboons are still alright but our
food bill is horrendous (ca.R30000 per month) since we have to find food for
them at the markets in Johannesburg and Pietersburg and the transport is
expensive. For me it is very nerve-wracking and sad to have this in front of me
every day from morning to night.
There is no sign of rain yet. Not so long ago owners of fenced-in
nature reserves saw it as their duty to feed their fenced-in animals in
times of need .Now the new trend is "let nature take its course", in other
words do not touch my banking account. If we had no fences these animals
could roam further and find patches of food, now they are locked up and have
to wait to die. So the attitude is now "Well let us be kind and trophy-hunt them".
Last week I had a young wildebeest brought in, dying a most miserable
death. I could not help. We looked at the poor thing. His abumasum was a piece
of rock, because every time he had wanted to pick up a tiny morsel of grass or leaf
he had to swallow a mouthful of sand which compacted in the abumasum. "Nature"
had taken its course. Is it really nature, or is it what we humans have made out of this planet?"
If anybody can see a way to contributing towards the costs of this
humanitarian food aid, please pay contributions in the following account - every cent helps.
Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education
FNB Account No. 620 258 341 87
Fourways Mall CODE 251-655 South Africa
Tel: 015 769 6251
Fax: 015 781 3103
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