Seasoned, experienced, skilled and frankly old are the wildlife rehabbers we meet, and now one who is young and will be around for decades.
Wow, what a delightful and impressive visit we had with Baye at the Free to Be Wild Trust Center situated in the outskirts of the city of Bulawayo Zimbabwe.
From a promise to an orphaned baby baboon in 2013 to a fully formed very active 2 year old wildlife rescue, rehab and release center… miracles have been performed at every level.
Here are a few:
- The nonprofit founded with a very helpful and qualified Board of Trusties,
- A magnificent pristine center raised out of ashes,
- Alternate release sites negotiated with two large fenced transition sites
- Important connections made with expert vets and conservationists to help with the primate rehab and release,
- Dedicated staff found to work well with the animals and build the place one day at a time,
- And yes a very active rescue, rehab and release of wildlife while weathering the storms of a new venture.
Along with being a quick study, Baye has a light in her eyes, a passion for her work and a quiet tenacity that will continue to make this center thrive.
What impressed us most is the:
- Amazing amount accomplished in such a short time.
- Desire to keep the center private meaning no public tours so the animals can be returned to the wild.
- Willingness to reach out to conservationist and others around Africa to learn and collaborate for the best effect for the wildlife.
- Desire to attend Veterinary College so she can better attend to her rescue and rehab efforts.
- Connection to the community with the annual Santa’s Christmas Shoe Box project.
The challenge with these projects is finding sustainable funding for the long term. But in Zimbabwe it is particularly difficult since the hyper inflation (I have over 3 Billion in old Zim currency in my wallet) that was “solved” when they changed over to the US Dollar a few years back. But now instead of the currency inflating, prices are creeping up.
Thanks for those who donated to help Free to Be Wild and we will be having other fundraiser to help in the future.
[A side note regarding the matching challenge campaign we ran earlier this year (2015), with the help of a lawyer Baye discovered that the owner can not sell out from under her. However, not owning the property her center is housed on was a wake up call and she is now systematically (instead of frantically) working towards purchasing it and really appreciates your help.]
Thanks Baye, we know the last thing you want is personal recognition but we look forward to watching your influence grow.