One month in, the Albizia interns have just come back from part one of their well-deserved break in Kosi Bay. Since the interns have been with us we have managed to achieve all our goals set so far, we have had some great experiences and unfortunately on a sad note one of our interns had to leave us on short notice due to personal issues back home. Even after having to say goodbye to a wonderful friend and team mate, the team have held strong and kept going to complete all their tasks.
As the volunteer coordinator, it has been a fantastic experience to see our projects up and running and to see how motivated our team has been to complete them. We have recently completed a raptor enclosure which was a huge project but our team managed to complete it on time and it looks great! We have added in enrichment to suit the birds that will be housed there and we are now ready to move birds in. These birds will stay in our care until they are ready for their final release back into the wild.
We have managed to get quite a few releases in so far in the intern’s time with us. It is always nice to share these experiences with them so they get to see why we do the jobs and projects we do. Although our project seems challenging it all pays off in the end, everything we do is for the greater good, the bigger picture! There is no feeling quite like knowing that you have helped a wild animal to have a second chance at freedom, no matter if it is mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians it all matters. So far, we have managed to release several South African rock pythons, which we have removed from other properties where they were in danger of being killed if not removed. We have released a genet that was very pleased to be back in the wild, two families of banned mongoose, many geese and a guinea fowl who seemed to not want to be a guinea fowl but a domestic house bird.
The interns and I have had much fun chasing one of banned mongoose around this past week as he has decided to terrorise our anti-poaching team. Stubby as they have named him as he is missing the end portion of his tail has had us running around endlessly to ensure that he is safe without his family group.
Overall my interns have done a fantastic job and to reward their hard work in the next few days we are taking them away to Port St Johns where we can look for a rare chameleon species and give them a break from building the small animal clinic which is our big project for this month. I could not have asked for a better team for my first group of interns as they have also helped me to grow and learn how to better help them as a team. Everyone seems to have a lot of fun which is the best part for myself as coordinator, you need to enjoy what you do or it’s not worth doing!