SA animal rehabs operational while under lockdown

Posted on 31 March 2020

Wildlife rehabilitation centres around the country are still operating internally but are closed to the public while under lockdown. Wildlife management, anti-poaching units, animal care and vet services are all deemed an essential service. These dedicated staff members are working around the clock to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the animals in their care.

Moholoholo Rehab Centre

From honey badgers, lesser Bushbabies and a multitude of birds, the team at Moholoholo Rehab Centre are working around the clock to care for their animals. The centre has had a large number of birds in its care over the years. Two notably successful cases of lappet-faced vultures that were poisoned were released back into the wild in January and have been spotted doing well. While on lockdown, the centre is open for animal and bird emergencies. If you are in Hoedspruit and find any injured, orphaned or poisoned wildlife contact 0823487188 / 0823903292.

The Rhino Orphanage

The Rhino Orphanage is an institution that sadly exists because of the horrific crime of poaching. South Africa’s rhino population has suffered immensely as a result of the demand in rhino horn for traditional medicine in Asia. While this sadness is a reality, the humans behind the Rhino Orphanage are working hard to ensure the future generations of these animals are sustained. The Orphanage is under lockdown but has not ceased operating. These carers work tirelessly to nurse orphaned rhinos back to health. Take a look at this heartwarming video of Kolisi playing with his human.


Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC)

The HESC cares for an array of wildlife, like rhino, cheetah, civets, sable and more. The centre has remained operational during lockdown. With help from the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, the first majority female anti-poaching unit in Africa, they are able to ensure the safety of their animals. The HESC recently celebrated their 30th birthday and the work that has been done here over those three decades is commendable. Rest assured that the animals in this facility are in expert hands.

Bambelela Wildlife Care NPC & Vervet Monkey Rehab

Situated in Limpopo, Bambelela cares for, rehabilitates and releases vervet monkeys and baboons. Bambelela has remained operational during the lockdown but has closed it’s doors to the public. International volunteers have had to leave to go home before the South African borders closed and so help is very minimal at this point. From handicapped monkeys, to orphans and those that are badly injured: Bambelela cares for monkeys in various conditions. The NPO has set up an emergency back-a-buddy fund to help them survive the next few weeks, as people are not allowed to visit or stay over anymore.

Owl Rescue Centre

The Owl Rescue Centre has a large number of owls under their wing. From barn owls to pearl spotted owls and spotted eagle owls, there have been many birds in sticky predicaments that the rehabilitation centre are dealing with during lockdown. The Centre is still in operation and conducting rescues wherever they are needed. They also have an interesting adoption campaign running in order to help tide them over until the lockdown is lifted. The Owl Rescue Centre is calling for adoption bids and the highest bidder, wins the adoption. The bird will of course remain in their care but the bird will be adopted under your name. If you know anyone whose birthday is happening over the lockdown period, we reckon this is the perfect gift.

Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

This wildlife only veterinary hospital in Johannesburg is legendary for its work. They have worked to save the lives of pangolins, African wild cats, meerkats, genets and everything in between. This dedicated team will be working non-stop during the lockdown. Their aim is to ‘ improve the quality of treatment, survival rate and success rate of rehabilitation of small to medium sized indigenous South-African wildlife.’ This facility has worked tirelessly to save many endangered and non-endangered species alike over the three years since their inception.


SANCCOB saves the sea birds of South Africa. Seagulls, African penguins, Cape gannets, cormorants, albatrosses and various other birds have flocked to this institution over the years, in dire need of help. From cleaning off oil, to rescuing birds that have been bound on boats and tossed to sea – the atrocious treatment of sea birds is the reason why SANCCOB exists. Rescuing chicks, rehabilitating injured birds, cleaning and caring for birds that have endured oil spillage is some of the amazing work that is done here. During lockdown, SANCCOB will be operating and their 24-hour Seabird Rescue Centre will be able to help any seabirds in distress. The Cape Town centre can be contacted on  +27 (0)21 557 6155 or +27 (0) 78 638 3731 (after hours & weekends). In PE the centre can be reached on Tel: +27 (0)41 583 1830 or +27 (0) 64 019 8936 (after hours & weekends).


Image: The Rhino Orphanage/ Facebook



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