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Birds of Eden News
Say No To Wildlife Petting

South Africa is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination and one of the most popular reasons for visiting is the spectacular wildlife. Along with the ‘Big Five’, South Africa is also home to an abundance of mammals, spectacular birdlife and our coasts are visited by dolphins, seals and migrating whales.

However, despite all this wildlife living free in our forests, plains, mountains and coasts there is a disturbing number of facilities offering tourists the opportunity to get ‘hands on’ with wild animals. One can pet lion, tiger and serval cubs, and walk with adult lions and cheetahs. Take a ride on the back of an elephant or even an ostrich, feed monkeys and lemurs or drape a large and dangerous snake around your neck. The list appears to get longer each year with more wild animals being added to the list of those you can ‘cuddle’.

One cannot deny that any interaction with an animal, especially a wild one is an exhilarating experience leaving us feeling quite…special. But is it really ‘special’?

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Join Our Instawalk At Birds Of Eden, Plettenberg Bay

On the 1st of March 2015 at 11am the Introductory #Instawalk of the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance will take place at Birds of Eden.  Being our very first #Instawalk we hope to have a memorable occasion.  We will only be able to host 20 enthusiastic #Instagrammers so contact Vijver on info@saasa.org.za as soon as possible to get your name on the list.  The winner of our #InstawalkSV will receive a one year membership for them and a companion worth R1500.  This membership allows you and your companion to visit Monkeyland, Birds of Eden as well as Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary as many times as you like during a 365 day  period!  This membership will open doors to amazing #Wildlifephotography moments that will leave you breathless and who knows…maybe even put you on the map as a serious #WildlifeInstagrammer.  We are hoping to have annual #InstawalkSV throughout the year and will keep interested parties updated on the development of them.  So what are you waiting for get your name on the list ASAP!  

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3 Amazing Wildlife Sanctuaries On The Garden Route Of South Africa

The parks’ indigenous forest is home of 550 primates, 200 species of birds and some of Africa’s largest cats. Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani are animal sanctuaries like no other.
 
Unlike other parks, they are a place of refuge, with fare trade accreditation and environmentally sound standards. Their focus is on conservation, eco-tourism and education. The 3 parks are South’s Africa’s pioneers in reintroducing mistreated animals back into their original environment. Their common mission is to rehabilitate their “guests” back into their wild state. They are implementing a ground breaking approach in their forest and spreading the knowledge to other wildlife parks overseas. In the parks, animals feel free, healthy and happy. The parks do not allow touching, petting, playing, feeding, handling or traumatizing the animals in any way.
 
On guided tours in Monkeyland you will see free roaming multi-species primates, including gibbons, howler monkeys, vervet monkeys, langurs, sakis, capuchins, squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys, ring-tailed lemurs and the critically endangered black and white ruffed lemurs.
 
Birds of Eden host world’s largest single dome free-flight bird aviary in the world with over 200 different species of birds. The park is nested in 2.3 hectares of forest with waterways, suspensions bridges and natural walkaways.
 
Jakani is home of large cats such as lion, Bengal and Siberian tiger, jaguar, and more together with other wildlife such as the African wild dog, hyena, jackal, honey badger, zebra, raccoons.
 
Those 3 amazing sanctuaries are a true example of what a wildlife sanctuary should be and encourage other parks to follow the lead. There is no need to traumatize animals for the sake of tourism. It’s fun, exciting and very education to have wildlife encounters in a sanctuary where animal run free and feel happy.

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The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (saasa) Won The Lilizela Award!

Excitment

How does one contain the excitement of being recognized for doing what you feel is the right thing to do?  Well we here at the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance has been award for making sure our animals are taken care of while still giving Visitors the Best Experience in a Wildlife Encounter.

The Lilizela awards are setting the standard for global excellence, rewarding those who strive for perfection and spurring arrivals growth and destination competitiveness.  The 2nd Annual Lilizela Awards Gala Dinner was held on the 9th of October 2014.

On the 23rd of September 2014, The Western Cape Tourism Office announced the Western Cape Provincial Award winners of the Lilizela Awards.  The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary) were thrilled to hear that we have received the award for “Best Visitors Experience at a Wildlife Encounter”.

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Nauru - The Bird Shit Island

Nauru is a small island (about eight square miles) half way between Hawaii and New Zealand made largely of bird droppings. If that does not sound particularly promising consider two further points. First, that its European discoverer named it Pleasant Island in 1798: it was once extraordinarily beautiful. And second that the bird droppings can be mined as phosphates, which are worth a lot of money. The following morality tale has, in fact, a lot to do with money…
 
Money… Everyone wanted a piece of Nauru. It is enough to list the island’s owners over the last two hundred years. For most of the nineteenth century the Nauruans ruled themselves and spent a lot of that time fighting each other with firearms brought by European traders. In 1888 Germany intervened to end the war and in an amnesty – and encouraged by the threat that tribal leaders would be executed – over seven hundred guns and rifles were handed over to the new authorities; enough to attempt an invasion of Belgium.
 
The island remained in the German Empire until 1914 when it was occupied by Australians on behalf of the Allies. In 1919 the British created the British Phosphate Commission that ran the island in the interests of Australia, New Zealand and the wider Empire, though not necesarily the Nauruans. In 1923 Australia took over the running of Nauru. In 1942 Japan occupied and Nauru had its worst years: a leprosy outbreak was dealt with by sailing a boat of the afflicted out into the ocean and sinking it. In 1945 a joint New Zealand, Australian and British trusteeship was set up, then in 1968 the island was finally given independence.
 
Nauruans, Germans, Australians, BPC, Japanese, Commonwealth Trusteeship and Nauruans again. Nauru became a kind of Pacific Krakow passing constantly between powers. It would be interesting to see if any other spot in the Pacific rivals Nauruans in terms of the multiplicity of owners. Beach is tempted to quote Kissinger: ‘if they had grown carrots there no one would have given a damn.’
 
From 1968 the Nauruans should have had a happy or at least wealthy existence. After all, they now had the phosophate for themselves.  And for a while the government was immensely rich, particularly given how small the population was. It also proved though immensely stupid and the money was wasted. Nauru is a nice example of the Dutch disease. Never give your kids an oil well.
 
By 2006 the phosphates had run out, as had the money, and the island experienced an environmental catastrophe, much of it having been strip mined to water or rock: note the central moonscape in the image above. The lawyers managed to claw some money back through suing Britain, Australia and New Zealand for overexploitation. But the compensation didn’t last either. And then desperation and creativity set in. In 2003, the island briefly tried to get on the US’s patronage list by helping North Korean defectors escape!
 
90% of the Nauruans are now unemployed and most of those that have jobs owe them to the authorities: hardly Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Still at least Nauru has survived its colonial masters and the passing of the guano. Here’s to a brighter future for one of the world’s most obscure territories. Let’s hope the birds will return.

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