Jessica leaving for South Africa mid May will deliver a donation check to Shannon’s bird of prey center near Pietermaritzburg, KZN.
Jess, another Nikela Volunteer is going to South Africa! She will be delivering a donation check to one of our projects, namely Shannon’s bird of prey center. We have 14 days before Jess leaves and would like to add another $1,000 to the gift and of course invite you to participate.
Nestled on the crest of the rolling hills outside of Pietermaritzburg, KZN in South Africa lies a magical place. A space, where 200 injured raptors are brought and more than half nursed back to health by the gifted hands and heart of Ben Hoffman. Those few that cannot be returned to the wilds for whatever reason find safe haven right next door, in Shannon’s sanctuary, where these beautiful birds become ambassadors for their species as students, families and tourists visit this magical place on the crest of the hill.
Here Shannon partners with YBK (a Yellow Billed Kite), Chicken (a Lanner Falcon), Maverick (a Goshawk) and others to put on an amazing flight display to delight and educate visitors to the Sanctuary. Young and old alike leave with a deepened appreciation and connection to these spectacular birds and their role in nature as the predators of the skies.
Shannon and Ben are a husband wife team who dedicate their lives and talents to the preserving of these frequently misunderstood birds. South Africa has around 80 different species of raptors. Some of these falcons, hawks, owls, kites and yes, even vultures are unique to Africa and if lost here, will be lost to the world.
Sadly local myths plague these birds making them subject to illegal capture, poisoning and abuse. Myths such as sniffing the dried brains of a vulture will let you pick the winning lottery numbers. Or that seeing an owl spells certain death on a family member are not uncommon among the locals.
Shannon’s daily flight shows do much to dispel these myths and create an awareness of these birds true worth and place in our planet’s ecosystem, however, many more children and adults need to experience the silent wings of an owl almost touching their hair, Maverick swooping in close to find his “prey”, or lose sight of Chicken as he takes off across the valley at top speed.
You help Shannon and her feathered partners save South Africa’s raptors by bringing in less fortunate students who otherwise could not come, the ones who need to understand the most, when you make a donation, especially if you join the PB’nJ club and give $7 monthly.