Volunter at a Wildlife Sanctuary Copy
From 1 month: $ 795, 2 months: $ 1 395, 3 months: $ 1 995
The birds and animals are uniquely presented in over 100 spacious walk-through aviaries, mostly consisting of tropical trees and plants. The idea is to allow visitors – over 10 000 each year – to have an intimate and close experience with nature. This sanctuary is one of Cape Town’s major tourist attractions.
So which animals and birds call the sanctuary home? Well too many to mention here, but falcons, spoonbills, barbets, cockatoos, pelicans, waterfowl, goshawks, hornbills, lovebirds, parrots, plovers, peacock, kites, owls, pheasants, storks, vultures, eagles … you get the colourful picture. Amongst the mammals you will see, feed, care for and play with baboons, squirrels, guinea pigs, meerkats, mongooses , porcupines, monkeys, foxes, marmosets, genets, tamarins and raccoons, amongst others. And the reptiles are: terrapins, green iguana, rock monitors, tortoises and last but not least, blue-tongued skinks.
The mission statement of the sanctuary is:
“By bringing wildlife to the city and by bringing people and animals intimately closer together, respect for and understanding of nature is fostered and appreciation for God’s beautiful creation in its diversity is shared”.
The goals of the sanctuary:
To support conservation on a global scale by propagating rare birds and mammals in a protective environment and in as natural a state as possible.
To bring wildlife to the people by establishing breeding centres and sanctuaries to show that wildlife and urban development can be compatible.
Because of humanity’s continuing encroachment on the natural habitat of the planet’s wildlife, it has become important to consider new and innovative ways in which the two can co-exist. Especially if we don’t want to see any more species becoming extinct. The Wildlife Sanctuary is an excellent example of exactly this idea, and the numbers of people who flock (excuse the pun) here every year indicate that people still have a genuine love for birds and animals.
This is a fantastic place to volunteer if you have a love for wildlife. There are many innovative, interesting and different ideas that volunteers have taken back to their countries with them, to spread the word and fight the fight for our planet’s animals. The Sanctuary also serves as hospital, orphanage and breeding centre, caring for injured birds and animals, and the breeding of many bird and animal species behind-the-scenes.
Some threatened species successfully bred in the sanctuary include South Africa’s national bird the Blue Crane, the Bald Ibis, the NeNe or Hawaiian Goose, and several rare South American Marmosets and Tamarins. Over the last 32 years, we have cared for over 30 – 40 000 birds and animals (with no support whatsoever from any official or corporate structure).
Volunteers are always welcome and needed here, since the sanctuary is under continual financial strain. So how would you as a volunteer be able to help here:
- Daily feeding of the birds and animals
- Cleaning the cages and watering the plants and trees
- Helping out in the animal hospital. With the amount of species we have here, this can be a busy place. This is an excellent place for aspiring or practicing veterinarians to help out and gain experience.
- Supervising the interaction between the wildlife and the tourists. This is important, especially in the petting zoo and monkey cages
- Assist in tasks related to the breeding of endangered species within the sanctuary
- Helping with fundraising for the sanctuary
- There are literally 100’s of other little tasks that need doing every day in an organization as large as this, so come on, join us and get stuck in, we need your helping hands!
The Sanctuary is open to the public from 9:00 to 17:00 every day of the week, 365 days of the year, so volunteers normally arrive at 8:00 and leave between 16:00 and 17:00 with lunch between 13:00 14:00. Feeding Times are :
- Penguins – 11:30 & 15:30
- Pelicans – 12:30
- Cormorants – 13:30
- Birds of Prey – 16:15
- The Monkey Jungle is open from 11:30 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 15:30
One last point on the sanctuary is that there is a minimum 4 week stay, ideally 6 weeks. This is because it takes a while for volunteers to be trained up and find their way around.