Visiting Baye at Free to be Wild is always a surprise. Although we’d already stopped by in February it was time to bring the second half of the year’s sponsorship for Khumbulane, her chief handler and right hand man.
From one tiny orphaned baboon four years ago Baye developed Bulawayo’s first rescue rehabilitation and release facility. Today she walks us around the sanctuary. Two large primate enclosures are home to a troop of vervet monkeys and chacma baboons. Adjacent to the baboon enclosure is a smaller one with a small gate. Here new orphans can slowly be introduced to the troop. Like C.A.R.E. Baye is identifying female baboons who may be potential surrogate mothers.
What’s surprisingly new
Things are being shifted around at Free to be Wild. With the growth of the center Baye is separating those animals (and birds) who are in rehabilitation on track to be released and those who call this their forever home. Baye’s focus is to get the injured, orphaned and confiscated back into the wild as soon as possible. However, unfortunately some animals and birds due to severe injury or humanization will never be fit for release. These, like a recent new resident a flamingo, are provided as much natural space as possible.
The separation will also more easily allow for small school groups and other educational visitors to view the animals in the sanctuary section, while keeping those in rehabilitation for release away from the unnecessary proximity of humans. A smart move. A necessary move.
Although it is ideal for a rescue rehabilitation center to be off limits to the public. Educational tours and programs provide a much needed revenue stream. Plus on top of that some visitors become loyal donors. Of course it goes without saying that educational programs are not complete without actually experiencing live animals up close and personal. It’s not until you’ve looked an animal in the eyes that you really understand, feel, that they too are sentient beings.
Along the tour we find Khumbulane busily cleaning up debris. Khumbulane helped Baye get the center started. He lives on the property and does everything from caring for the animals to keeping the enclosures maintained. We stop and chat with for a bit.
After the tour Baye and Aimee invite us to lunch at the volunteer house. Then it’s time for the most fun part… handing over the cash to sponsor Khumbulane for the next six months.
It is very rewarding for us to see just how far Baye’s center has come. Rescues of all sizes are brought to Free to be Wild. Most are released within a few weeks after being nurtured back to full health. Like the little duiker named Mars. Or the two Serval Cats who were kept as quasi pets.
Care to help Baye save more wildlife? Helping is easy.
Click the button below to make your comfortable monthly donation.
100% of your wildlife donation goes to help the animals.