Some happy endings from CROW (Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife)

Written by CROW marketing and communications officer Sharl Els

Weighing in at a mere 950g, her fragile 3-day-old body covered in ticks, Khaleesi – a female Chacma Baboon – was found abandoned in Hluhluwe in December 2016. A passer-by spotted her at the side of the road with no troop in sight. Now seven weeks old, little Khaleesi has adjusted well and has already gained some much-needed weight. Once old enough, Khaleesi will be integrated into one of our troops at the centre. We wouldn’t be able to care for her without your support – thank you!

CROW jackal patients back in the wild

In December 2016, CROW released four young Side-Striped Jackals back into the wild after they’d been rescued as pups in September. The pups were discovered by farm workers on a cane farm who noticed that their den had collapsed; the farmer waited a few days while monitoring in case their mother might return and, when she didn’t, they were brought to CROW’s rehab centre. Weighing around 200g each and with their eyes still closed, the pups were admitted to the CROW centre by Irene Liversage, voluntary rescuer at the Empangeni Depot. After several months of a strict rehabilitation programme followed by an 8-week stay in the pre-release boma, the jackals were finally back in the wild – where they belong.

As a bonus, the jackals have been fitted with specialised tracking collars; they will be tracked for 18 months and the data collected will be used to aid ongoing research projects surrounding this incredible species.

Coral the bushbuck ready for release

In June 2016, Coral, a two-day-old bushbuck, was brought to CROW after she was found abandoned by the Kloof Conservancy near Kloof Gorge in Forest Hills. Bushbuck normally hide their babies in a safe spot and leave them behind when foraging; the conservancy monitored her first to ensure that she wasn’t just waiting for her mom to come back. Sadly, Coral’s mother never returned.

Coral was brought to the centre, where they discovered that the tiny orphan was not only scared, but terribly dehydrated and weak. Clinic nurse Sue-Ann Shutte spent that night with a bottle and special milk formula trying to win Coral’s trust and fill her empty tummy.

From such a shaky start, this little bushbuck is now a strong, healthy juvenile who shares her enclosure with other antelope in the pre-release camp. She is thriving and will soon be released into the wild, where she belongs.

Coral the bushbuck getting to know Flash the tortoise

Yellow-billed kite

A juvenile Yellow-billed Kite was transferred to CROW by the SPCA on Saturday, 21 January, after being struck by a car. This beautiful bird of prey sustained a muscle injury to his shoulder and was placed under clinical observation while receiving some rest so that his shoulder could fully recover – and he could be released back into the wild.

More about CROW

CROW (Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife) is currently the only wildlife rehabilitation centre in KZN that is registered to work with ALL indigenous wildlife. Every year CROW rescues, rehabilitates and releases over 3000 orphaned, injured and displaced wild animals. The Centre aims to release all its patients back into the wild, where they can live a free life in their natural habitat. To achieve this, staff and volunteers keep human contact to an absolute minimum as it’s imperative that the animals retain a natural fear of people. As a registered non-profit organisation, CROW is 100% reliant on donations from the public.

For queries and more information, please contact CROW’s Marketing & Communications Officer, Sharl Els, on 031 462 1127 or at

Please Note:

  1. CROW is not a wildlife sanctuary, which by definition is a refuge for wild animals that cannot be released back into the wild and are therefore reliant on humans for their survival. As a registered and reputable wildlife rehabilitation centre, CROW aims to release all its patients back into the wild, where they can live a free life in their natural habitat. Therefore, CROW’s patients do not reside at our centre permanently.
  1. “CROW”, like the “SPCA”, is an acronym and should be capitalised whenever it appears in print.