Zanchieta to extend operations to include Wildlife Sanctuary & Rehabilitation Centre
Application has been made to the relevant authorities to expand the facilities at Zanchieta Wildcat Farm, near Bloemfontein, to include a Wildlife Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre.
There is currently only one such facility in the Free State province, in Kroonstad, and to have a second one, close to the capital city of Bloemfontein, is very good news indeed.
The facility, to be called the Lehodimo Wildlife Sanctuary, will be developed on an adjacent piece of land to Zanchieta, a short walk from the current Wildcat Farm enclosures.
Many calls are received from the public who have found injured, ill or orphaned birds and mammals and want to bring them to the Wildcat Farm. Regrettably, due to a lack of the proper facility, not all these animals can be accommodated.
Zanchieta has now decided to expand the facilities at a separate location, where qualified staff and suitable hospital facilities will be available to care for these animals. Nature Conservation and other public organisations dealing with animal wellbeing will also have access to the centre should they require either medical facilities or any other services.
Besides this, the Sanctuary will also serve as an Educational outlet to the public in general, but specifically to the youth and schoolchildren of the area. Tours of the Wildcat Farm will continue, but the new facility will offer that extra opportunity to communicate directly with the public about a far wider variety of topics covering wildlife-human interactions.
The intention is to only keep those “patients”, which because of their injuries, cannot be released back to where they came from. This is an exciting and major advantage of having this type of facility available. Release of the rehabilitated animals will assist greatly in keeping specie numbers growing.
Once the required approvals have been received, work will commence on the construction of the enclosures and hospital buildings. Two of the current guides at Zanchieta, Miekie Van Tonder and Jeana Gous, are both qualified Animal Rehabilitators and will head up the new facility. Both have been working at Zanchieta Wildcat Farm for a number of years and have a great passion for wildlife.
Owner and Founder of Zanchieta, Lizette Van Schalkwyk, is the driving force behind this new and exciting project and she is determined to get it up and running as soon as possible.
“There is a great need for this facility in our area and I always wanted to include it as part of Zanchieta, so I decided about a year ago to try and find the required financial resources to make it happen. I started negotiations and discussions with the authorities and now we are ready to submit all the necessary paperwork for the dream to materialise. I cannot wait to admit the first patient, get it mended and then to see it released back into the wild.”