Despite financial pressures during lockdown, Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage saw past learners pitching in to help, and even welcomed five new dassie babies to the fold.
As we all face the lingering effects of the pandemic, many organisations like Daktari faced closure as funds began to dry up. Completely reliant on donations to feed the animals they look after, the team was under pressure to cut costs while maintaining enclosures and the animals’ health and wellbeing.
DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage was founded in 2006 —in the South African bush, near Kruger National Park. The NGO works to educate and inspire children to value their environment and stimulate community development — where last year’s learners increased their knowledge of the importance of protecting animals by 185%.
Thanks to the incredible efforts of some volunteers (some of whom were previous learners) amid a series of lockdowns, Daktari was able to provide animal care and was touched by the responses of local community members after its call for help.
Until now, the team has been able to maintain food and animal care and even welcome three baby dassies to the world. Rescued years ago, their parents Câline and Little Boy are both beloved dassies and special house guests —even using human toilets! See the video for yourself.
Three weeks ago, the team were surprised to learn that Little Boy was not just a fat dassie but pregnant! And Câline (who was definitely a female) was so big that the team knew she was also expecting, checking on her every day and seeing the babies moving in her tummy.
After welcoming Little Boy’s two babies, the team noticed Câline behaving strangely. After giving birth, she was a little uncertain at first, until her maternal instinct kicked in. Today, the two little babies are happily jumping and climbing, and eager to explore the world.