Wildlife rehabilitation is the care of injured and orphaned wildlife by providing medical care, food and housing while taking precautions to minimize the animals’ stress and maintain animals in their natural wild state so that they can appropriately be released back to the wild once they are able to survive on their own.
We accept all species of indigenous wildlife.
Yes. We have incubators and will incubate viable eggs until they hatch and then raise the hatchling birds until they can be released back into the wild.
There are many reasons why we instruct you not to feed the animal you have “rescued”. First and most importantly, you are not trained how to safely feed the animal. Many people that rescue baby animals try to feed them and end up killing them or severely compromising them instead. It takes training, experience and the right equipment to learn how to correctly feed a baby bird, squirrel, or other baby animal. It takes knowledge of the proper formulas, temperatures and feeding techniques. In fact, we find that over 80% of orphaned animals that were fed by their rescuers arrive at the Centre with aspiration pneumonia. Many animals that would have survived if the temporary caregiver simply did not feed them cannot be saved only because the rescuer fed them first.
Second, even if you found an adult animal you should never put food in its mouth. Injured adult animals can be aspirated just like orphaned babies can be aspirated. Further, the priority with an injured adult animal should be to get its injuries addressed by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
Third, feeding an emaciated animal can actually kill it. When an animal is emaciated, its gastrointestinal system stops functioning. Feeding an animal in this condition can result in its death. Feathers and fur hide starvation quite well, so you can’t simply tell if the animal is starving by looking at it.
Fourth, feeding the wrong diet can compromise or kill an animal. Some wild animals have extremely delicate gastrointestinal systems that can be disrupted by incorrect diet. Even the correct diet can cause major problems if fed at the wrong temperature.
No. Wildlife is protected by conservation laws that make it illegal to care for or keep wild animals without appropriate permits. It is also in the animal’s best interest to get it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator as quickly as possible. Licensed wildlife rehabilitators can address the animal’s nutritional requirements, can provide medical care for injuries and can ensure that the animal is raised to be wild so that it can be released one day. Veterinarians cannot legally treat wildlife for you, so the only way to get medical help for injured wildlife is to work through a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
No. We do not allow people to visit any animals that are in the hospital/rehabilitation section of the Centre. Not only is it illegal to show an animal in rehabilitation to the public, but it is also not in the animal’s best interest. An injured animal in rehabilitation is already physically compromised by its injury and it is already stressed by being in a captive rehabilitation setting. Allowing visitors would compound the animal’s stress and could negatively impact its survival. Orphaned baby animals haven’t yet learned to be afraid of people but exposure to people could result in the animal becoming habituated to humans or imprinted on humans, which could prevent the animal from being releasable or able to survive in the wild. You are more than welcome to visit the resident animals that are non-releasable and used as educational ambassadors for their species.
We will make the best decision for the animal you bring us. Our goal is always to save the animal and release it back to the wild; however, we will humanely euthanised animals that have no chance of survival in order to eliminate needless suffering. We will also euthanised animals that could not achieve a reasonable quality of life in captivity. Please know that when you bring us an animal, euthanasia is never a choice of convenience but only selected when we feel we have exhausted all other options available to us and in the animal’s best interest.
They are here because they are
- Mentally injured
- Physically injured
- Born in captivity
Some of the birds will spend the rest of their days here due to their injuries. If at all possible we do our utmost to release them back into the wild.
Birds of prey are very fast. The bigger the aviary, the more speed they can build up hence they may injure themselves if they are alarmed for any reason, perhaps by us or by a member of the public. Birds of prey spend most of the day sitting, so provided they have sufficient space to stretch their wings and fly short distances they tend to be happy.
We are a non-profit organisation and receive no subsidies from the government. We rely solely on the generosity of the public and corporate communities to ensure we achieve our goals and remain sustainable.
Yes. The WildlifeSOS Trust that manages the Dullstroom Bird of Prey and Rehabilitation Centre is a registered NPO so your donation is tax-deductible as permitted under SARS regulations.
You may schedule recurring credit card donations by phoning us at 082 8994108, providing your credit card information and the amount and frequency you wish to donate. We will send you a pledge form to complete and voila!
YES, YES, YES!! We rely on volunteers for all aspects of operations. We couldn’t help a single animal or educate a single person without our volunteers.
The process starts by completing our Volunteer Application, which you can ask for by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your completed application and determine the best fit between your areas of interest and your availability and our current needs. We will then contact you regarding volunteer roles that fit both of our needs.
We use volunteers for everything from running errands, maintenance of infrastructure, transporting animals, cleaning cages, rescuing animals to handling raptors in our daily flying demonstrations (falconry/raptor handling experience an advantage).
New volunteers do not generally fill animal care positions unless they have wildlife or veterinary experience. Volunteers that assist in an animal care capacity are our more experienced volunteers who have grown and developed their knowledge and skills over time.