Nikela, a non-profit organization that funds wildlife conservation and education projects recently sponsored an educational trip.
Thirty students of the Mehlokazulu High School's Envro club in Imbali, a large low income community in South Africa were able to visit the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary where they witnessed an impressive show presented by Shannon Hoffman, aimed to educate and create ambassadors for wildlife conservation.
The show, held using non-releasable ambassador birds, addresses topics that include dispelling old myths that jeopardize the raptors. Children’s hearts are touched as they come in close contact with the birds. When they return back home, they influence their friends and family by sharing their experience and newly obtained knowledge.
Dispelling myths: "Owls are bad luck, if you see an owl someone you love will die.”
The Raptor Clinic
Besides the educational flight show, one of the main facilities at the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary is a raptor rescue center which includes a clinic. Over 200 birds have come through the rescue center in the previous year (2010), often hurt due to powerlines. At the clinic, birds are treated, rehabilitated and released back in to the wild.
Left: zoologist Ben Hoffman treating a Lanner Falcon at the rescue clinic.
How to contribute
Nikela has a portfolio of projects and makes it possible to contribute to the African Bird Of Prey Sanctuary educational project through their website. Visit Nikela. I was honored to be able to contribute by documenting the visit, the wildlife and sanctuary operations and meeting the wonderful people that make this all happen.
View more pictures taken at the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary: