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Wild Things – February 2015

Dear Crow Friends & Supporters

This being our first newsletter of the year, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our friends and supporters a very happy, safe and successful 2015. Together, we hope to make this year a meaningful one for our local wildlife too!

2015 is a landmark year in CROW’s history , during which we will be celebrating 35 years of dedicated service to KwaZulu-Natal’s wildlife. While we are proud of reaching this significant milestone, we are also very aware that the need for our life-saving services is greater than ever before. With the scourge of the illegal pet, muthi and bush meat trades seemingly continuing unchecked and the rapid loss of habitat our local wildlife is having to contend with on a daily basis, it’s little wonder so many of our indigenous species are increasingly under threat.

With this in mind, the CROW team is determined to find new and more resourceful ways of meeting these challenges in 2015 and ultimately conserving and protecting our wildlife for future generations to enjoy. We have several exciting initiatives under way to help us expand our core wildlife rescue and rehabilitation services, while at the same time, we are committed to playing a more active role in educating the public about how they can help to prevent some of the horrendous cases of human interference, negligence and outright abuse that the CROW team sees on a daily basis.

Now more than ever, we would like to appeal to our friends, supporters and followers to join us in fighting for our animals right to a free, safe and sustainable life in their natural habitat. We would like to invite you all to join our extended family of volunteers, depots, partners and donors, who are all playing an instrumental role in helping us to give our wildlife a second chance. The challenges may be great, but together we can and will create a better life for our local wildlife.

With best wishes.

Crow Team Signature

Little Heidi Steals the Show

Heidi, an energetic young Warthog who was admitted to the CROW centre in November 2014, is currently doing an excellent job of stealing the hearts of CROW’s staff and volunteers. Found abandoned in the Hluhluwe area by Umkhumbi Lodge owners Anton and Emma Roberts, Heidi was a mere 4 weeks-old when she arrived at the CROW centre.
Two months on and having graduated from her daily bottle feeds and being moved to a much larger outdoor enclosure, Heidi is now well on the road to a life back in the wild where she belongs. Taking maximum advantage of the space in her large, outdoor enclosure, Heidi is now able to work out some of her boundless energy. A good wallow in her mud pool is also a crucial daily ritual to help Heidi offset the summer heat.

The CROW team is currently looking for a sponsor for Heidi to help us in covering the costs of her care over the next 10 months or so until she is ready for release. If you would like to sponsor Heidi for a monthly fee of just R70, please sign up via our website: Sponsor an Animal If you’re stuck on what to get your other half this Valentine’s Day, our Sponsor an Animal and Enclosure programmes make a very unique and meaningful gift!

Bush Baby Siblings Thriving at CROW

These two Thick-tailed Bush babies were rescued from the Mtunzini area late last year where they were found abandoned. At 2 weeks-old and weighing in at a mere 100 grams each upon admission, these tiny handfuls were already full of beans and sure to keep CROW’s Primate Manager, Mabel Watts on her toes.

Under Mabel’s expert care, these too bundles of joy, now known as Jack and Jill, are currently weighing in at a healthy 500 grams each and are able to feed themselves. All going well, they will be relocated to one of the centre’s specialised outdoor enclosures over the coming weeks where human contact will be kept to an absolute minimum in the run-up to their release later in the year.

A Narrow Escape

Last month, the CROW team received a call from a local business owner who was horrified to have found one of her staff trying to hide a Black Sparrow-hawk. In search for food or perhaps just disorientated, the hawk had accidently flown into the warehouse of the local business, were a factory worker saw the opportunity to make a quick buck. After catching the bird, the worker bound its wings and legs, ready to take him home and sell him off to the highest bidder. Fortunately, the owner of the business intervened and insisted he hand the hawk over to her before she called CROW to come and collect the terrified bird.

Once safely at the CROW centre, the hawk was treated for shock and given a good meal, before it was deemed fit and healthy enough to be released back into the wild to fight another day. Sadly, these types of cases are happening all too often. If you see any wild animal being caught or sold please contact your local wildlife authorities or CROW asap.

Could you be a CROW Rescue

Volunteer or Depot?

This past festive season, has been one of the busiest the CROW team has experienced in many years. In November and December 2014 alone, over 1000 injured and orphaned animals were admitted to the CROW centre for care and treatment – that’s 16 new patients every day! On average, our centre is currently receiving between 20 and 30 rescue calls on a daily basis from all over the province.

CROW’s dedicated network of rescue volunteers and drop-off depots form a crucial part of our organisation’s ability to respond to these calls and ensure that no animal is left to suffer or go untreated. If you think you have the time and are able to make the commitment to assisting us in these efforts, please contact Claire on 031 42 1127 or via email at director@crowkzn.co.za for more information on what’s involved.

A Family Affair

Eenie, Meenie, Miney and Mo, are four baby banded mongoose that were born into one of CROW’s mongoose troops here at the centre in early January 2015. Although no one wants to see a wild animal born in captivity, these lively little siblings will actual play a crucial role in readying and preparing their newly formed family for a successful release back into the wild.

Unlike the solitary water mongoose, banded mongoose are social animals that live in large troops. These troops have a dynamic social structure and a tight family bond that is imperative for their daily survival. Hence, as with all of CROW’s social patients, every individual banded mongoose admitted to the CROW centre needs to be introduced and joined with others of its kind to make a new troop before they can be released, as a unit, back into the wild. Being that like many of our local wildlife, banded mongoose are a co-operative breeding species whereby the entire troop will bond and help look after any babies born into it, nothing helps reinforce and entrench the stability of a troop more than the pitter patter of little feet.

This particular troop is still a few members shy of being a viable size for release hence they will remain under the watchful eye of the CROW team until Spring 2015. As with Heidi, you can help us look after Eenie, Meenie, Miney and Mo by sponsoring their care during the rehabilitation process. If you would like to get involved, check out Sponsor an Animal.

CROW’s Wildlife Warriors Holiday Club

Over the recent Christmas holidays CROW’s Environmental Educentre was a hive of festive fun with over 100 children taking part in CROW’s hugely popular Wildlife Warriors Holiday Club. The club, which is designed for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years, took place over three weeks and was run by CROW’s Environmental Education Officer, Nompilo Ngcobo who was ably assisted by a team of local volunteers.

In addition to lots of recycled arts and crafts and outdoor games, Nompilo took the opportunity to share with the children some of the key messages from CROW’s Wildlife Warriors Environmental Education programme that she currently delivers to schools in and around the Durban area.

The Yellowwood Park Women’s Institute were so taken by the holiday club initiative, that they decided to treat CROW’s Wildlife Warriors to lunch.

All the proceeds raised from our 2014 holiday clubs entrance fees went directly to helping us cover the costs of caring for our wildlife patients, hence on behalf of our many patients, we’d like to thank all the children and families that took part in our holiday clubs last year as well as the wonderful, and very brave, young nature conservation students that gave up their holidays to help us make our club a big success.

Will you be “My Bloody Valentine?”

The CROW team are very excited to have been chosen as the charitable beneficiary of Zombie Run SA’s “My Bloody Valentine” Zombie Run which will be taking place at Giba Gorge MTB Park on Saturday, the 14th February 2015.
The awesome team from Hillcrest-based marketing agency, Rubio Communications (pictured above) are just some of the people who will be taking part on the day and they are currently challenging all other local businesses to get involved.

The 5km fun run with a difference is sure to get your heart racing this Valentine’s Day! So if you’re up for the challenge and looking for something a little more exciting and different to do this Valentine’s Day, then please do come along and join us for this fun-filled event! Tickets are R150 for both runners and zombies and can be booked online at www.quicket.co.za.

1000 100 Club

We are looking for 1000 extraordinary individuals, companies and groups who are willing to donate R100 a month to enable CROW to continue its important work in wildlife rehabilitation and conservation.

By joining CROW’s One Thousand, One Hundred Club, you will be playing a direct role in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of each and every sick, orphaned and injured animal that comes through its doors.

To join and for more information of the exclusive benefits you can enjoy as a One Thousand, One Hundred Club member, please contact us on 031 462 1127 or request a brochure and form by emailing info@crowkzn.co.za.

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