Crow launches 2022 wildlife and feral cats calendars
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Whether it was Ouma the vervet monkey being hugged by her family on her return or the yellow-billed kite soaring to freedom ‒ these are special moments for the team at the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (Crow) which were shared on Wednesday at the launch of the 2022 Crow “Running Wild” wildlife and “Wild Whiskers” calendars.
With the Covid pandemic resulting in sponsors tightening their belts and volunteers unable to come to South Africa, Crow has made it through a tough 18 months with the help of local Durban companies, in particular Compass Medical Waste Services.
At the launch, while taking a tour around the facility, Crow director Clint Halkett-Siddall said the team had gone out on nearly 1 200 rescues in the past year, with 1 400 animals rescued. A total of 3 576 animals were admitted to the centre.
Crow helps mammals, reptiles and birds. This year’s rescues included a python and side-striped jackal. Halkett-Siddall said the team had a number of risky moments during rescues.
“I was climbing on a roof that collapsed and as I was climbing a tree to rescue a monkey, I cracked a couple of ribs ‒ but I got the monkey in the end. Another staff member fell through a ceiling while rescuing a bird,” he said.
He added that now, during spring, feeding babies, including genet triplets, was a full-time, non-stop job from 6am to 8pm.
The team had also spent two days aboard a ship searching for a stowaway monkey, with the ship unable to leave port until the monkey had been removed.
The 2022 Crow wildlife Running Wild calendar “features a number of photographs of the Great Migration in the Masai Mara in Kenya, shot by Durban photographer Kierran Allen”.
The migration is regarded as a natural wonder of the world and sees about 1.8 million wildebeest, zebra and antelope cross the Mara River from the Serengeti plains.
Allen said having the opportunity to photograph the Great Migration was “the ultimate on my bucket list”.
“It’s a mecca of wildlife, it’s so spectacular that it’s not something you can explain,” said Allen this week. His favourite photograph was of the packed wildebeest moving together ‒ it’s also the front cover on the calendar.
The 2022 Wild Whiskers calendar was also launched at the event and hosted many of the city’s feral cat organisations. They have been kept busy caring for feral colonies in the past 18 months, particularly as many workplaces remained abandoned because of the lockdown work-from-home policy.
The 2022 Wild Whiskers calendar, with photographs by Brendan Bromfield, features many of the feral cats cared for around the city, each with their own heart-warming story.
Compass Medical Waste Services Managing director Ian du Randt and his wife Judy were presented with honorary Crow membership.
All money raised from the calendars is used to help the animals and Du Randt said the project raising funds for wildlife rehabilitation and the care of feral cats was a highlight of the year for his team.
The Running Wild calendar is available as an A2 wall calendar: R200 (the calendar is packaged in an elegant box); an A5 tent calendar: R100; or desk calendar: R50.
An A3 Compass Cats 2022 Wild Whiskers calendar costs R150 and is packaged in a box.
To order a calendar or for more information, visit compasswasteservices.co.za/compass-cares
The Independent on Saturday