Sunday, May 13, 2012


We have had several new animals in the time I have been here.  We have two kittens and 4 black bunny rabbits, all found on the property with no mom in sight.  It is difficult to get the bunnies to take milk from a syringe, but they seem to be doing OK.  

A few days ago a man on a bicycle brought a baby steenbok (small antelope) in his backpack.  We put it in a cardboard box with grass to keep it warm and fed it milk, but it died that night.  They tell us that antelopes get very anxious and like to hide, so they often die before they get used to humans.  We have another small antelope, a duiker, who has been here a few weeks already.  They thought he would die, but he is getting more used to humans and not hiding in the covered part of his cage so much.  He will now even take food from my hand sometimes.

We have had two new baby goats.  The first was premature, I think, because the second one was born a few days later and was three times the size of the first one.  The first one had difficulty eating in the beginning, but has come through that OK and the kids are now about the same size.

Nicole with baby goat #1

Baby goat #2 born 3 days later

Baby baboons

Baby bunny rabbit

Baby kitten

There is also a baby leopard and three lion cubs, but I am not feeding them!  Their mothers are taking care of them fine.

The chores are many and varied.  We had to rake up dried grass that had been previously cut into piles.  They grass was put in a truck and is now in a covered area.   I have to go there to get new grass to put on the floors of the monkey and lion cages.  One day three of us went to the "game park" part of the property, which is wild but fenced in, to search for snares put up by people trying to catch our wild animals.  We went through a lot of high grass, and Arnaug and Jackie both had several ticks on them.  He got bitten, but I came away untouched, at least as far as I know.  I don't think they have lyme disease here, but there is tick bite fever, which Nicky has had and says gives you horrible headaches.  Another day we made chain link fence, which I didn't know was possible to do by hand.

Making chain link fence

Nicky surprised me by taking me to the local primary school for a tour.  They just started buying baby chicks and raising them to sell to get money for the school.  We went back the next day so I could donate a couple of boxes of pens and to have one of the Chipangali workers cut down some Eucalyptus trees so the parents could make a new jungle gym.

We have visitors for the weekend:  two of the trustees are Finnish but live in Harare and run an orphanage for children whose parents died of AIDS.  They brought two young Finnish volunteers and five orphans.  So now we have about 20 people for meals, but it seems to be working out.  The kids loved seeing the animals, but are afraid of the kittens and won't hold them.  I have seen that reaction in other African children.  Pets don't seem to be common here.  Cats are to catch rats, period.

Visitors from Finland and Harare

Christine from Holland and friend

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