Our Team

Paul Hoyte

Having grown up in Richards Bay surrounded by the abundant nature and wildlife of Zululand, Paul is an ardent nature lover who is passionate about the protection and welfare of all animals.

He joined the CROW team in early 2013 as the centre’s Marketing and Communications Officer. Paul’s role primarily focuses on helping to raise the public image and profile of both the organisation and its work in local wildlife rehabilitation.

Using his skills and experience in marketing, public relations and social media, Paul excelled in his role and was promoted to Director in July 2016.

As the centre’s Director, Paul oversees the day to day running of CROW, managing the team and implementing strategic development plans to ensure the organisation is finding innovative ways to provide a second chance to all the displaced wildlife throughout the KZN Province.

Paul believes that by reinforcing and building new strategic partnerships along with an extensive education programme, that CROW will continue to be a pioneering force within the wildlife rehabilitation industry.

Estie Allan
Clinic Manager

As Clinic Manager, Estie oversees CROW’s busy rehabilitation clinic and its team of dedicated Animal Welfare Assistants, grounds staff and volunteers who together, rescue, rehabilitate and release over 3,000 injured and orphaned animals every year.

Having been at CROW for over 10 years, Estie is a fully registered and trained Animal Welfare Assistant and has amassed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the fields of wildlife rehabilitation and conservation.

Working closely with CROW’s vet and numerous partners Estie personally ensures that each and every animal that is admitted to the centre is given the very best medical care and treatment possible.

Affectionately known as CROW’s “mongoose mom”, Estie’s calm and gentle nature means she has naturally evolved as the expert when it comes to the care and rehabilitation of these fascinating creatures.

Tayla Hawkins
Junior Clinic Nurse

Having been in the wildlife industry for over 7 years, I have been extremely fortunate to have been involved within almost all sectors of conservation and wildlife management. For me, working with animals was never a choice, it was a calling and I strongly believe in trying to make the world a better place. It’s a beautiful thing when your career and your passion come together..


Sue-Ann Shutte
Senior Clinic Nurse

As CROW’s longest serving member of staff, Sue-Ann has worked on and off at CROW for over 15 years.

A dedicated wildlife enthusiast and registered Animal Welfare Assistant, Sue-Ann has also served as Primate Curator at Cape Town’s World of Birds and as Bird Curator at Durban’s Umgeni River Bird Park.

As CROW’s resident avian expert and “dassie, genet and scrub hare mom”, Sue-Ann’s role at CROW is clearly invaluable. In addition to having her hands full overseeing the hundreds of feathered and furry patients that land up in her care on a monthly basis.

Sue-Ann has also completed her Certificates in Animal Husbandry, Animal Care, Surgical Veterinary Assistant and Wildlife Management.

With her hands clearly full, Sue-Ann’s husband Bobby and their two children, Jamie and Eric thankfully share her passion for her work and can regularly be found giving a helping hand at our centre.

Kylie Hawkins
Junior Clinic Nurse

Kylie joined CROW in May 2016. She studied a Nature Conservation Diploma at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in George before joining the CROW team. Kylie comes from a family who loves animals.

Her mother is a zoologist and it’s here where her passion for animals was born. In addition to her studies, Kylie’s done a number of courses on snakes and reptiles.

As a Junior Clinic Nurse, Kylie’s responsibility is to care for the antelope patients admitted to the centre. She hand-rears the antelope from infancy and then oversees their rehabilitation up until they are released back into the wild.

The keen nature conservationist describes treating antelope difficult at times, but rewarding. Kylie sees it as a privilege to go through each stage of rehabilitation with her antelope patients.

Andrew Butt
Centre and Research Manager

Andrew joined CROW in August 2016 as Volunteer Coordinator/ Clinic Assistant.

A nature conservation graduate who also has a degree in psychology and geography and a post graduate business diploma has a wide range of skills to best suit a job that involves animal lovers from all over the world.

Most of his time is spent on the ground at CROW and in the clinic coordinating the volunteers’ activities as they assist with the running of CROW.

Andrew enjoys working with people from around the world who share a passion for wildlife.

Mabel Watts
Primate Manager

As CROW’s Primate Manager, Mabel juggles a very busy workload overseeing the Primate Rehabilitation programme.

Mabel’s commitment to helping wildlife in distress started at a young age where as a young girl growing up on the family farm in Pongola, she took on the responsibility of nursing all injured and orphaned animals that inevitably came her way.

Prior to joining the team at CROW, Mabel worked in the private investigation industry where she picked up some surprisingly useful skills and experience!

As a passionate advocate for primates’ right to freedom in the wild, Mabel tries to share and instil her deep respect and appreciation for primates with others.

As CROW’s resident “monkey mom”, Mabel personally oversees the hand-rearing of all orphaned, injured and displaced primates that are admitted to the centre each year including baby Vervet Monkeys, Chacma Baboons and Bush Babies.

When questioned about her job, which is arguably one of the most challenging and yet rewarding jobs in the world, Mabel will simply shrug and tell you “they make me complete”..

Monique Demé
Clinic and Volunteer Coordinator

Monique is an avid wildlife enthusiast who volunteered at CROW for two years before joining the staff team in early 2013. In addition to volunteering at CROW, Monique has also volunteered at several other wildlife centres across the country including SAMREC (SA Marine Rehabilitation & Education Centre), Bayworld, Ushaka Marine World and Seaview Game and Lion Park.

Monique is currently in the process of studying towards a diploma in wildlife management and one day aspires to work as a primate behaviourist.

Through her numerous volunteering roles Monique has acquired an impressive amount of knowledge regarding our indigenous species and the wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release process.

Monique’s role here at CROW includes overseeing the admissions process, answering queries from the public and ensuring that all patient files and administration related to CROW’s work are kept up to date.

In addition to her study commitments, Monique is also an avid sportswoman who can usually be found playing, coaching or umpiring hockey. Monique also enjoys camping, fishing, hiking and generally spending time outdoors as much as possible.

Chandré de Bruyn
Marketing and Communications Offiver

Chandré matriculated from Werda Skool in 2013 and thereafter completed a Degree in Marketing Management. She says that she is very privileged to have kickstart her career in Marketing at CROW. Not only does she have a great position, but so too does she get to help make the community aware of how to make it a better world for the animals.

“I have the opportunity to combine my passion for working with children and the elderly with my love for animals. Educating people on what we do at CROW is very important and I am proud to be a part of this – it has brought a sense of worth to me.”

Nompilo Ngcobo
Environmental Education Officer

As CROW’s full-time Environmental Education Officer, Nompilo is passionate about sharing her love for all things wild with the younger generation.

Heading up the delivery of CROW’s Wildlife Warriors Environmental Education programme, Nompilo puts into practice both her experience in environmental protection and her formal studies in Nature Conservation that she is currently completing through UNISA.

Prior to joining to the CROW team in March 2014, Nompilo worked as a Tour Guide at the Lion Park, as well as a Junior Keeper at Johannesburg Zoo. Nompilo also successfully completed EWT’s Conservation Training Programme in 2010.

When she’s not working and volunteering her time, Nompilo loves visiting local nature reserves and any other outdoor activity that enables her the opportunity to appreciate South Africa’s prolific natural heritage.

Meryl Petersen
HR and Finance Assistant

“Since my childhood, I have always had a love for animals and I have been concerned about their well-being: having a certificate in management and administration, one of my passions and working with a team that deals with animals are just some of the bonuses of working at CROW Animals have always been and always will be something that is close to my heart … As a HR and Finance Assistant, I make sure that all financial responsibilities are ensured for me. that everything goes well.

Stephanie Naiker
Fundraising and Marketing Manager

“I have a degree in clinical psychology, diplomas in the following:  hr, project management, operations & facilities management, HIV/AIDS basic to advanced including VCT.  My work experience has always been within NGO and medical.  I did practice professionally fulltime whilst I sat on 3 boards as chairlady within NGO sectors and my love for NGO took me to Lifeline where I was the fundraising manager and Director as well.  I love doing community based work and since joining CROW, my domestic love for animals has now escalated to loving all animals be it tamed or wild.  I joined CROW so that I could make a difference for the Animals.  I wanted my fundraising skill to be used to assist those beautiful animals that cannot speak for themselves.” 

Michael Madlala

Michael is CROW’s dedicated driver who assists the team with collecting supplies and rescued wildlife from the organisation’s depots on a weekly basis.
Michael has been with CROW for over 16 years and in this time has become a passionate advocate for wildlife conservation and protection.

As such, Michael often assists the CROW team by alerting us to local wildlife in distress and helping us to create awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation.

David Mdidiswa
Ground Staff

David Dlamini is the friendly face that greets staff every morning, while he goes about his daily duties, maintain the centre’s gardens and grounds. David says he enjoys being a part of CROW because the organisation makes a difference in 

the lives of animals.

Sanele Madlala
Ground Staff

Sanele puts a smile on staff’s faces with his great sense of humour and dedication to his work at CROW. He is passionate about animals and loves his fellow employees almost as much as the animals!

Porsha Cele
Clinic Cleaner

Porsha is responsible for keeping our clinic clean and hygienic. She especially loves helping in our baby bird room and adores all the young birds that are admitted to the centre. Besides enjoying working at CROW, she also spends her time keeping fit by playing netball.

Cyril ZUma
Maintenance Manager

Cyril is CROW’s maintenance man! For over 12 years, Cyril has been the man behind all the upkeep and maintenance, helping CROW provide the best possible care to our animals in need during their rehabilitation process.

Zosuliwe Hlongwane
Ground Staff

Zo is a lady that you will always see smiling! Her duties at CROW include the general upkeep of the ICU, preparing feeds and assisting with many other duties when necessary. Zo has a young child named Happiness, as it is the same feeling she experiences when seeing her.

Siphamandla Lushaba
Ground Staff

Siphamandla, also known as ‘Spa’, assists with the care of our primates. Although Spa might be small in size, he carries a very big heart. As they say, dynamite comes in small package!

Pleasure Nene
Ground Staff

Pleasure has been a part of the CROW family for over 9 years. He is responsible for the upkeep of CROW’s mammal block, flight aviary and the water bird enclosures. Pleasure is known for his great sense of humour and ability to always make you happy!

Wendy Thabethe
Ground Staff

Wendy is a proud mother of twin daughters. She spends most of her time with her daughters, admiring her blessings. Wendy’s favourite thing about working at CROW is when she often gets to assist with feeding the primates.

Bhekani Ngcongo
Ground Staff

Bhekani is is angel in disguise that always provides an extra pair of hands where it is needed. He is the first person to pop by in the morning to greet with big smile.

Khaye Ndlovu

Khaya has served on various leadership roles within the student affairs 

domain. The student roles includes being a student activist in student societies from 2014 Student Representative Council ( SRC ) member, in 2015 and 2016 student activist within the student societies and Residence House Committee member in 2017.

Khaya is very disciplined, principled centered, hardworking and committed student, who is available to help others. Apart from his current studies he has completed a couple of programs from the University of Leeds in Environmental Challenges consist of Five courses that look at the relationship between people and nature, and the challenging and difficult decisions we face when managing natural resources.