Can humans live without nature and animals?
Africa has an incredible diversity of ecosystems and animal abundance – but much of it has been, and continues to be, destroyed by human intervention. Uncontrolled hunting and poaching play another destructive role in reducing wildlife populations. Most wildlife today can only survive in protected national parks and reserves, but even there poaching is a major problem.
Habitat is getting scarce
The current situation in Tanzania is unfortunately similar to many other (developing) countries. The population is increasing, which means that more and more space is needed for the human inhabitants. This usually has fatal consequences for animal and plant life. Trees are cut down to produce firewood, forests and natural habitats have to give way more and more to human use, animals are hunted because they have to look for food in human surroundings more and more often…The most dangerous thing for the environment is that all this is not done in a sustainable way. Far too little thought is given to the far-reaching consequences of such use.
Often it is simply feasible measures that can bring nature back. About 40% of the Makoa farm, including more than 10 km of gallery forest along the two rivers, Kikafu and Makoa, is under our protection and thus available for wildlife. Regular tree planting campaigns of indigenous tree seedlings from our purpose-built tree nursery also aim to replace illegally felled trees in the surrounding area. More trees and other plants means more natural habitat and food for animals, which in turn keeps them away from the fields.
Until recently, the rule in Tanzania was to leave injured wild animals to nature and thus to their own fate. Nowadays, however, more and more wild animals are injured by human intervention, e.g. when crossing roads or because humans and animals suddenly have to share the same habitat (human-wildlife conflict). Then wild animals find themselves in people’s small farms and are shot there, injured by stones, arrows or spears, or caught in snares. These animals have a right to medical treatment by law and so we are regularly called by the wildlife authorities to capture animals and treat them.
If this is the case, it means being on the scene as quickly as possible. Minutes can make the difference between life and death. So far, we do not have an equipped rescue car and thus lose valuable time in gathering the necessary equipment and loading the car. A specially equipped emergency car could help us save even more lives – unfortunately, we still lack the financial means to do so. Would you like to support us? Read more about it under Project Support.
When an animal is entrusted to us, we care for it with the best of our knowledge and conscience, always with the aim of being able to give it back a life appropriate to its species. Ideally, this means that we can release it back into the wild in a suitable environment as soon as it is old enough and ready for it or has been nursed back to health. The rearing and care of the animals is supervised by vets, biologists and other trained people and is done with the utmost care. Only when we are sure that an animal has a real chance of surviving in the wild is it released. The main problem here, however, is not so much the survival skills of the animals but finding a suitable habitat, as this is becoming increasingly scarce.
For the pets entrusted to us, mostly dogs or cats, which are picked up somewhere or are also found injured, we look for suitable places at home and abroad where they can live happily for the rest of their lives.
Animal permanent guests with us…
…there are lots of them! Sometimes the most amazing animal friendships are formed, especially among our permanent residents who will spend the rest of their lives with us because of permanent disabilities.
Unfortunately, we keep getting animals whose condition does not allow them to ever be released back into the wild. We have decided to give these animals as good a life as possible in a species-appropriate way and to use them as ambassadors for their fellow animals in freedom in our education projects. With their help we can achieve a lot with the children and also adults who visit us regularly and create a better awareness for animal and nature conservation.
We try to provide the animals with the best possible accommodation, which means not only a species-appropriate enclosure and food, but also that they are mentally challenged. For this purpose, we have hired a professional animal trainer who ensures that the animals can act out their natural behaviours and also cooperate in their daily care in other ways. The animals visibly enjoy the training and are free to cooperate.