Baye is our youngest Wildlife Hero. Recently discovered something rather unusual when she was called out on a wildlife rescue mission.
However, let’s start at the beginning
In Baye’s own words…
[Shared with her permission]
Recently I was talking to Claire, a friend who owns and runs a donkey sanctuary. We were discussing how to differentiate between cruelty cases: Ones where there was intent to do harm, and ones due to individuals being naive. Claire said, with many rescue cases they find the owners who have names for their donkeys are generally the ones who have compassion for their animals. In this case the abuse or neglect is mostly due to ignorance or better said, a lack of education and knowledge about certain situations.
Yesterday was a really tough day for me. We got a call out to a homestead where a villager had a baboon, monkey and 2 duiker at his place. A staff member had come across the situation and told this gentleman about our sanctuary, Free to be Wild. Unexpectedly the man willingly agreed for us to come and collect them. Together with a National Parks ranger we made the three hour journey to the man’s farm.
I was not sure what to expect on arrival. Surprisingly, I was whisked away by an old gentleman and his wife to show me the animals. The first thing they did was tell me all of their names. It was a hard moment to digest. Their living condition were really awful, but you could see these animals were loved, cared for, well fed and they loved the people who had raised them.
“Madala” instantly unchained Billiard (baboon) and Sam (monkey) and put them in their travel crates which would lead to their new lives. Next up were the two duiker. By now a large crowd of kids and adults had formed, all waving and saying their goodbyes to the animals, calling them by name and giving them their last treats of peanuts and maize!
I had such mixed emotions about this. I knew these animals will be so happy to be relieved of their chains and finally free, but it was evident that this village really cared for them and did the best they could, to the best of their knowledge in looking after them.
All of these animals were found as orphans around the maize fields surrounding the village. Billiard (baboon) is nearly 2 years old and being chained to a tree is the only life he knows. And yet his trust and love for people is so evident! It made me realize just how important education really is, and that there are people out there who do care and want to help, they just don’t know or understand the best way to do so!
We arrived back at the sanctuary last night. Sam is being cared for 24/7 by our volunteer Linda as he has a nasty wound around his waist where the chain cut into his flesh. Last night he slept in comfort on Linda’s chest with baby Louis, his new companion helping him recover!
Billiard has met all 10 other baboons through a management enclosure and today got to play and interact with Lucy- it was WILD!! All he wants to do is play and we can not get over how excited he is to have friends!! Tomorrow he will go out on his first bushwalk with the other baboons, watching him be free makes me realize why I do this job!!! Running up and down trees swinging upside down rolling around with Lucy my heart is bursting!
The two duiker were let out into the sanctuary to roam freely, both have come back this morning to say hello but then scuttled off again to explore their new surroundings of freedom!!
Update on Billiard, Sam and the Duikers
[Directly from Baye in her words]
Would you believe it if I told you these photos are just a mere 36 hours after Billiard arrived!!! This morning we took him out on his first bushwalk with our 7 other juvies!! And of course our baboon whisperer Dinghani had it all under control, you would never guess that today was Billiards first proper interaction with the wild, the other babies and us!! It’s as though he has been apart of the troop his whole life!!! We are overwhelmed with today’s progress!
Sweet little Sam is finding it harder to settle in as he is suffering from a very bad wound around his waist where his chain was cutting into him.
We took him to the vet today to put him on an antibiotic and get some pain meds, he is really battling with it! We have hope that in no time at all the wound will start to heal and he will be able to feel the benefits of a free happy monkey! Lots of love needed for little Sam.
Our sweet little Chia and Chai… almost been with us for a week now and have settled into sanctuary life beautifully! Having free range of the whole sanctuary these two are loving the freedom, but all to happy to come home say hello and grab a bite to eat.
Thank you Baye for all you do for the wildlife. And for your compassion for them and the people.