News from the Centre

Savannah the serval

Savannah the serval

It’s been a while since we’ve done an update, so to make up for things being a little quiet, we’ve made this one is a juicy bumper edition. With the onset of summer, and subsequent rains, things have great here at the Centre. For starters, we’re all much happier now that winter is behind us. The bush has also transformed itself into a hundred different shades of green, so everything is looking really fresh and lovely at the moment. We had great weather this week. There was quite a lot of rainfall during the nights and early mornings, but the sun always managed to break through the cloud cover, bringing with it new life during the day.


In October we welcomed a new member to our animal family. Savannah is a four month old serval, who until recently was kept as a pet. While you can always take an animal from the wild, you can’t take the wild out of the animal. Savannah quickly grew too big to remain purely a house cat, and wanted to explore the outside world. Unfortunately, like all cat species, she would have gone wandering if left to her own devices. This would have proved fatal as she was already human imprinted, and thus dependent on our kind for food and water. Fortunately her owners made a wise decision and brought her to live with us at the Centre, where she will play a vital role in ensuring the survival of her species.


Goempie with a Red roman spider

Goompie with a Red roman spider

All our animals are reveling in the cool rainy weather, although our Southern-ground hornbill seems especially pleased. You see, the wet weather invariably brings with it a host of creepy crawlies. Goompie is well known for his generosity towards humans and wild Southern-ground hornbills alike. If you venture anywhere near his enclosure, you’re automatically his best friend. Every morning when they’re doing their rounds, our sweet bird will offer the curators a juicy insect. They have yet to take him up on it however.


HESC Intern - Christoff van der Schyff

Christoff van der Schyff

A warm welcome to Christoff van der Schyff. This motivated youngster has taken some time out from his studies to work alongside the HESC team for the next two months. Christoff is currently studying towards a degree in urban and regional planning at the University of the Free State.


State vets visit

Christo Schreiber, Dr. Veronica Letsoalo, Lente Roode, Dr. Bjorn Reininghaus

Last week two state vets came to follow up on how things were going since the anthrax outbreak in the area in 2010. Mrs Roode (HESC Founder) welcomed Dr. Bjorn Reininghaus (Orpen District) and Dr. Veronica Letsoalo (Mopani District) personally, before taking them on a tour of the Centre to show them exactly what we do.

Afterwards they had a brief meeting to discuss the progress that’s been made since the anthrax outbreak, as well as the implications that resulted from it. They also spoke about the possibility of giving vaccinations for canine rabies, anthrax, cat flu etc. How much, which kind, and how often they should be administered, were some of the topics covered.

We feel it’s imperative that we work together with government organisations such as the Kruger National Park. To this end HESC took part in meetings held at Skukuza after last year’s anthrax outbreak.


Cilna Pienaar Art Workshop

Learners from the Paulos Ngobeni Primary School taking art lessons with Cilna Pienaar