SIYABONGA - HELPING HANDS
We are all aware that AIDS is an unfortunate reality in our country. What really speaks loudly to Sean though, is all the HIV negative children that have lost their parents to the disease. More often than should be accepted, many of these children are left to fend for themselves. Children are forced to head households, leave school and resort to criminal ways to survive. SWLCT realises if we do not look after the youth of South Africa, the future of this country is at major risk. Education and guidance are essential in this task which is why SWLCT has joined hands with Siyabonga – Helping Hands for Africa, a charity organisation working in the rural areas of Pietermaritzburg.
Siyabonga’s primary goal is to support children who have lost their parents to AIDS by ensuring they receive adequate nutritious food, medical care and a good education. SWLCT contributes R5, 000 to the monthly costs involved for a teaching assistant and to feed 150 children meals each day.
There are various ways you can brighten these children’s days. Putting together stationary packs, donating old clothes or making a monetary donation are just some of the ways. Please do contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
KAY AND THE KIDS
SWC's first adoption came in a female cheetah named Kay. This was a true privilege and a very heart-felt moment as she was named in honour and memory of Sean’s mother Kay, who passed away unexpectedly in 2009.
Kay and her sister were rescued from the Limpopo Province. Kay was very wild when she arrived at De Wildt's Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, but has become fairly used to visitors and is now quite curious. That said, she is still close to her natural instinct and likes to hiss and spit at anyone who tries to get too close.
Kay is mom to Mitzi, who she gave birth to in 2011 and Pixie and Zorro, who were born in 2012. Mitzi enjoys her breakfast and 'afternoon tea'. Pixie will hopefully start doing runs in the near future and Zorro is an ambassador-in-training.
Be sure to check out www.yourcheetahspot.co.za to see pictures of our and other lovely cheetahs.
HOPE & MADDI
It is in the Somkhanda Game Reserve, situated in Mkhuze, northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, where Sean Williams has decided to add the endangered, but magnificent rhino to the SWCT family.
Hope is still roaming in the same area, and does not tend to leave it that much. The area that he is in has a good water supply, good grass as well as females around him. In addition, the competition with other bulls is not that high there.
Maddi continues to thrive. She has been spending a lot of time around her mom. If she does move away it will be only for short period before she goes back again. She will slowly start becoming more and more independent as she gets older.
The Wildlands Conservation Trust is a non-profit, public benefit and public welfare organisation who have been in existence since 2005. They are currently active in four provinces in South Africa and in Swaziland and Mozambique.
Please feel free to have a look at their website and see how you can help out:
TITAN THE EGYPTIAN VULTURE
Titan is an Egyptian. Originally known as the ‘Pharaoh’s chicken’, Egyptian vultures are regionally extinct. “Vultures play an essential part in the food chain, which sadly also contributes to their numbers plummeting,” says Sean.
He explains that farmers administer a certain type of veterinary medicine to their livestock which then enters the food chain. “The medicine is highly poisonous to vultures, and results in their death,” he says.
Egyptian Vultures are very clever birds, using tools to access food. One trick of theirs is to pick rocks up, fly up then drop the rocks onto ostrich eggs. This unfortunately does not make them very popular with Ostrich farmers.
Our boy Titan is slowly becoming a real man, developing white plumage, a clear characteristic of Egyptian Vultures. Because Titan has limited access to soil, he will stay very white. Titan can develop a phenomenal wing span of up to 1.7m.
New adoptions 2017
HOPE THE EGYPTIAN VULTURE
Hope was born in November 2012 and he is our ambassador Egyptian Vulture and such an amazing bird to work with.
He flies to the glove and is eager to work. At the moment we are building up his flight muscles, and we are sure that he is feeling it in his feathers!
Recently, he went to a function at a preschool and did a great job showing his beauty and teaching children to appreciate the vultures of South Africa.
He still needs a bit more practice, but he definitely loves all the attention. He absolutely loves cuddles from the humans; he has us very well trained as well!
He is appropriately named Hope - as it is our hope that he will continue helping humans understand his kind better.
BELLEZZA THE CHEETAH
Bellezza was born in 2012 and is a cheetah very close to our hearts.
Her running skills exceed all expectations. We started running her again after an injury in 2016 and she runs with a power and enthusiasm equal to none.
Belleza,as her name suggests, is also a very gorgeous looking cheetah, and she mesmerizes everybody with her beautiful dark markings. Her mother is a King Cheetah, which means that she is a carrier of King Cheetah genes.
She lives in Ambassador Lane where she can run straight from her camp instead of going in the car.
Bellezza has a taste for chewing on vehicles but we, the humans however prefer to keep the cars intact.
TEE-SHA-PAE THE WILD DOG
Tee-sha-pae was born May 2014. She shares her space with Nnyane, another female Wild Dog.
Tee-sha-pae is the Alpha female and she is calling all the shots. Her name is Haitan for "Little Survivor".
She was taken out of a litter at 2 months because she was found with all the skin missing off the back of her neck.
She was taken to the vet for treatment and when she returned to the centre and her wound had healed, she was placed with Nnyane to be her buddy.
These two females that both had a rough start to life are now doing really well and they love each other’s company.
She is on the route of the school tour and kids from all over the country have laid their eyes on her and Nnyane, learning all about the conservation efforts made for the African Wild Dog