Caring about nature

My husband and I were unsure what to do and so we turned to the experts. The Wildlife Centre for Rehabilitation and Education (C.A.R.E), based in Fourways, along with Friends of Free Wildlife in Kyalami told us there was a chance the mother would come back, and so we gently placed the delicate little creatures back in their nest and placed the nest on a branch in the same tree. Our delight was short-lived when the mother returned as, sadly, we think she kicked the two chicks out of the nest, because later that day one of my poodles found one dead on the ground.

We were shattered and felt responsible for the death of the two little birds.

A week later, my husband received a frantic SMS from our gardener, who had found a snake in the bathroom. Thinking it was a black mamba, he hacked the snake with a spade. It was not a mamba of any sort … it was a harmless red-lipped herald, or so we think.

Our home, which we love so dearly, has been responsible for the death of three precious creatures – which is devastating.

While I cannot bring any of the animals back, I would like to use their deaths as a lesson, not only for my household but for residents across Joburg who might not know what they should do when encountering a similar situation.

We live in Joburg and while we consider it ‘the big city’ we need to remember that nature is still around us and while it might not be ideal to find a snake in your bathroom, the snake (or any other animal for that matter) should not suffer because we are ignorant.

There are so many fantastic organisations in Joburg which specialise in rescue and rehabilitation. A simple phone call to your local vet is always a great place to start if you are unsure how to go about saving or removing an unwanted creature in your home. C.A.R.E. is also great with animals and advice and should be able to point you in the right direction.

The big lesson in my household is to teach everyone not to ‘kill now and think later’. As horrible as it sounds, I really don’t think I am the only one who needs to educate myself and those who work on our property.

Below are a few numbers I plan on keeping close at hand this summer. I hope you will do the same …

C.A.R.E. 083 659 3727

Bryanston Avian, Exotic and Small Animal Clinic 011 706 1381

Friends of Free Wildlife 082 561 3681.

Megan Tyack

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