Loves and life on the Garden Route in South Africa

Through the eyes of volunteer coordinator and crazy cat lady, Sharon

Dereck And Beverly Joubert; Explorers On The Front Lines Of Lion Conservation December 3, 2013

Filed under: animals,Cats,conservation,lion,Nature,wildlife — shadreyer @ 4:56 am

Canned hunting in a nutshell by Chris Mercier November 19, 2013

Filed under: animals,Cats,conservation,lion,Nature,South Africa,wildlife — shadreyer @ 8:28 am
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Canned hunting in a nutshell by Chris Mercier

Canned Lion Hunting in a Nutshell


1.      50 years ago an estimated 100,000 lions roamed across Africa.

2.     Lion habitat has declined by 75% since then and lion numbers have dropped to less than 20,000

3.     Only 9 countries in Africa have more than 1000 lions, while Tanzania alone now has 40% of the whole lion population

4.     The African lion is heading for extinction.

5.     Main driver for lion destruction is the reckless breeding habits of Africa’s human population.  For instance, Kenya had a small population of 5 million people at the end of WW2, but that population has exploded to over 30 million.

6.     Human over- population in rural areas means lions are killed routinely to protect livestock.

7.     Trophy hunting is also a major cause of lion numbers declining, especially since the trophy hunter always wants the magnificent pride male, and once he has been removed, pride cohesion breaks down, with competing males killing all the cubs.  It has been estimated that it can take 7 years before that pride can recover fully from the killing of the pride male.

8.     Because hunters have wiped out so many wild lions there is a demand for a constant supply of living targets and lion farming has increased dramatically in South Africa.

9.     In the last fifteen years the number of captive lions in S.A. has increased from almost zero to over 8000.  That is twice as many as there are wild  lions (4000)

10.                      Lion farmers grow out lions for at least three years before they reach huntable size.   To help pay the cost of rearing lions, lion farmers rent out their cubs to be played with by tourists.   And they take in volunteers who pay to be allowed to work at a lion farm (deceitfully described usually as a lion sanctuary)

11.                      What you can do to help the African lion:-

a.     Cub petting.  Do not patronise any tourist resort where cub-petting is allowed.

b.      Volunteers.  Do not volunteer at any facility where breeding of lions takes place.   If there are cubs then it is a lion farm breeding centre.

c.      Write to your MEP.  And ask her to ban the import of African lion/leopard trophies in to Europe.


Caramel Caracals November 12, 2013

This is so worth the read. Fiona also lives on the Garden Route although not in my town. I hope these cute babies grow up and get to live in the wild again in a safe enviroment but as they are so young they might need to stay in an animal sanctuary until older and rehabilitated

Fiona Ayerst's Blog

On Saturday I had a chance encounter with three lovely angels. Three wild; caramel coloured; woolly; orphaned caracal kittens of about 4-5 weeks old popped into my life. Their location will remain a secret, as this announcement will most likely not be popular with farmers.


The word caracal is derived from the Turkish words kara kulak, which means, “black ear”.The caracal is the largest African lesser cat and an exceptional climber and jumper. It is slender with long legs and a short, sharply tapered tail. The Caracal resembles a cross between a leopard and a lynx. Its coat is reddish-brown with long and very distinctive tufted ears and white markings around its eyes and on its throat, chin, and belly.In South Africa the caracal is often named (Afrikaans) Rooikat- translated to red cat. The belly and the undersides of the legs and chest are whitish and spotted or blotched…

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World Rhino Day 22 September September 21, 2013

Filed under: animals,conservation,donation,Nature,wildlife — shadreyer @ 4:34 pm

World Rhino Day 22 September



Animal affairs July 5, 2013

I work for an international volunteer organization that has numerous volunteer placements in disadvantaged communities, schools and NPO’s in my area. One of our newest placements is with our local animal welfare. I have my first volunteer there for 4 weeks from America. She is studying Veterinary Science with 7 years of studying under her belt already.

This has given me a chance to get a glimpse into the world of an animal welfare. I’ve always known how well run and above board our local animal welfare is but I’ve never realized the extent of the sadness they must be faced with daily. Just this morning on dropping my volunteer off I witnessed a man who had brought in his sick 7 month old Greyhound. They will now diagnose her and see what is wrong with her. I hope it’s not serious as the love this man had for his pup was clear to see.

2 minutes after that I spoke to a local chap that I know. He was there to see his pit bull puppy that had been attacked twice in the space of a week by neighbors dogs. Despite a fence around his property other dogs had got to her. He had brought her in yesterday and came in to see her this morning before work. She jumped all over him with excitement but unfortunately she is scared of strangers especially in this strange surroundings. She still bares stitches across a huge scar on her jaw where the other dogs ripped her open and now has fresh wounds to be treated. Poor chap is going to need to speak to his neighbors about making the fence higher and securing his property more as they will undoubtably kill her otherwise. In actual fact these neighboring dogs should be off the streets as they are far too vicious but in poor communities its a lot harder to afford to do home improvements if not possible at all due to lack of funds.

Plenty of cats sitting in their cattery either lost or looking for homes. The cattery is great, plenty of soft bedding, scratch posts, fresh food and water and clean litter trays. Not to mention lots of stimulation in the form of climbing apparatus and toys. But there is a lack of volunteers looking to come and spend an hour playing with the cats. They have plenty of volunteers that come into walk the dogs but sadly not for the feline friends. As a lover of cats with 3 of my own I think I must look into volunteering an hour of my time once a week to sit and play with these gorgeous creatures.

And talking to my volunteer has been really interesting. Apart from the number of dogs that have been hit by cars that they have needed to treat there is also a total lack of preventative care which comes down to education on caring for your animals.

It’s been quite an eye opener to me and has only made me more appreciative of the people that work in this heart breaking industry