Written by Nicola Vernon, Founder of Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary
Photography by Cassandra Bright, Hudson Lund, and Bjarne and Smilla Rombach
The small pile of wet black fur trembled – the only sign of life that led the passing law enforcement officer on Camps Bay beach to investigate further early one Sunday morning.
The SPCA was called and arrived to find a young female goat lodged between narrow rocks, trying to hide there. Horrifically, a dagger was lodged in her back, very close to the spine.
The dagger had red cloth tied around the wooden handle with what appeared to be hair knotted into the fabric, suggesting that she’d escaped from a ritual slaughter. She was found on the 23rd of September 2018, the same time as the Spring Equinox, which has significance in several religions.
The young goat had already lost a lot of blood, and she was rushed to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA hospital where the dagger was removed safely.
The plucky black goat recovered well from the operation and was placed in the farmyard at SPCA Grassy Park, Cape Town. The story of Hilda’s lucky escape and rescue was featured across many media, and her gentle face with its white forehead marking captured hearts everywhere.
It wasn’t long before the story reached Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary, home to 80 pigs, 30 sheep and three goats… soon to be four.
I travelled to Cape Town to fetch Hilda and brought her to the sanctuary, where she immediately settled in. It was only hours before she was literally eating out of my hand.
Hilda has made many new friends, and her back has healed very well. At the sanctuary she has many hectares to roam in and will soon be introduced to the sheep and the other goats.
The future is bright for this clever girl who managed to escape from a terrible fate to a vegan farm where she’ll be loved and cared for, for the rest of her natural life.
More about Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary
The sanctuary was established in 2014 when it received its first pig, Bella. It’s situated just 7km from the village of Greyton, in the Western Cape, on its own 40-hectare farm. The sanctuary takes in farm animals who have either escaped from the food production process or been reared as pets but then rehomed when their challenging needs became evident. The sanctuary became a registered non-profit in March 2017 and is supported entirely by donations.
To help with Hilda’s care and the 128 pigs, sheep, goats, geese, cats and dogs at the sanctuary, donations can be made to:
Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary
FNB Caledon 200212
Cheque Account 62524403376
Donors can also sponsor a named piggy for R300 a month, or a sheep/goat for R200 a month. Follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/greytonfarmanimalsanctuary/