Written by Marizanne Ferreira
Hulbert the baby grysbok was stolen from his mom, who was most likely hunted illegally and eaten. A kind resident of the Walmer Township took him from some youngsters and kept him safe. He called Bronwyn Meyer, who does rescue work in the township, and she fetched him and brought him to me on Valentine’ Day 2017.
Antelope with a difference
Hulbert (full name Hulbert-Valentino) was about seven days old when he was rescued. He started off on special formula, which he absolutely loved, and got stronger by the day.
From the beginning, Hulbert was “different”. He was very tame and slept next to my dogs, often grooming them. He weighed a mere 1.2kg and was so small that I had to wrap him in a towel when I bottle-fed him for fearing of dropping him.
The 10-day-old grysbok was about to be slaughtered
A week later, another tiny grysbok baby was found by the police during a routine inspection. Horrifically, she’d been tied by her hind legs and was hanging upside down; her captor was standing nearby, busy sharpening his knife. The police took her to the Animal Welfare Society, who called me. I named her Halina-Valentina, as she was almost like Hulbert’s sister.
Halina had had a terrible ordeal; her hooves were almost gone (worn down) and her “feet” were very bloody. She was also extremely traumatised and feeding times were not easy – she just did not trust me. She weighed only 1.6kg and was approximately 10 days old.
Best friends forever
Hulbert immediately took his new friend under his “wing”. He “took care” of Halina and, with his company and leadership, she warmed up to me, although I still kept her separate from the dogs.
At three months, I weaned them and they were allowed out into the BIG garden where they could get a taste of the great outdoors. They’d still clock in every morning for a breakfast of game pellets and bread, and at dinnertime for more pellets, apples and carrots. And just before bedtime, Hulbert would get baby corn and half a biscuit, but as Halina was watching her figure, she didn’t clock in for the treat.
Once they’d recovered, they went to join the other wild animals in their natural habitat, the Sardinia Bay Conservancy, where they are safe and sound.