We’re Margrit and Russ, two ordinary folk who stumbled on a way of helping people saving wildlife to make a difference for 100’s of African animals.
It all started with a bird
In early 2009 Russ, and I visited the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary close to where my parents lived, in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. This sanctuary cares for falcons, hawks, kites, eagles, owls, and vultures who are largely the victims of injuries, poisoning or illegal possession. A select few of those that cannot be returned to the wild become ambassador birds.
It was on one of those typical sunny African afternoons that somehow during Shannon Hoffman’s’ flight show we were changed. Was it the owl that I felt more than saw fly silently over my head? Was it YBK, the kite, dancing in the breeze above us? Was it the lightning speed of the falcon swooping to grab the lure in mid air? Or was it the stories Shannon told about these birds that touched my heart? I’m not sure. I just know Russ felt it too, because on the way out he dropped his ‘in case of emergency’ $100 bill he’d carried in his wallet for years into the donation box.
On our long flight back to the U.S. I kept thinking of Shannon and the birds of prey whose numbers are dwindling and how most of us didn’t have a clue it was happening.
“Africa‘s game parks have lost well over half of their big mammals… since 1970” REUTERS
“Another rhino found dead… poaching is on the rise.” News24
News flashes like this troubled and overwhelmed me.
Can you believe it? When I was born (back in the 1950’s) there were over 450,000 lions roaming the African continent? Now there are less than 20,000 and declining rapidly.
What could the two of us do? The situation seemed so bleak!
Time to Take Action
It was Russ who finally triggered the action. In March 2010 he looked at me with those clear blue eyes and said, “We just need to jump in and figure it out as we go.” And with that an incredible journey began.
- The right people started showing up to create this global community of people who care.
- We went to South Africa for 34 days putting 4560 miles on a rental car and discovered the struggle of the few aging dedicated experts to protect the endangered animals.
- An inspired process emerged.
- It seemed like everything was perfect! Well of course it wasn’t.
However, with your help we have been making a difference to save these endangered species.
Starting in 2014 we spend the better part of the year in Africa finding those doing good for wildlife and invite you to…
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Nikela is a fundraising non profit on a mission to help people protecting nature, especially doing wildlife conservation.
Nikela is about helping people saving wildlife.