WILDLIFE REHABILITATION, RESCUE AND RELEASE
Tenikwa’s wildlife rehabilitation program grew from humble beginnings in 2002 when the owners started rehabilitating injured birds in a wooden shed behind their house. The wildlife rehabilitation work that is conducted at Tenikwa is primarily funded out of gate-takings to the Awareness Centre where Tenikwa offers various programs to the public to see non –releasable indigenous Wild cats of Southern Africa and other wildlife often caught up in the human-wildlife conflict.
Through tourism and guests visiting Tenikwa, the Wildlife Rehabilitation facilities have evolved to its present state with a specialized wildlife hospital as well as several specialised enclosures and treatment rooms. Today, Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is one of the largest Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres in the Western Cape, and one of the few in the world that admits both marine and terrestrial species.
The wildlife hospital admits approximately 230 – 300 creatures per year. These animals arrive at Tenikwa through the nature authorities managing the area, the general public and the community at large. No wild animal is turned away and no money is ever asked of the public to support the costs of treatment. All cases are overseen by a specialised wildlife veterinarian and the passionate staff at Tenikwa are trained to work with these sometimes dangerous wild animals affording them the maximum chance of full recovery and return to the wild.
After the initial stabilization and hospital admittance, the wildlife rehabilitation plan for each animal is finalised utilizing Tenkwa’s Release Protocols. Potential release sites are identified and agreed in conjunction with Nature Authorities taking into account where the animal was extracted, the circumstances which led to the event, the chance of survival post-release, and the impact of the release at the potential site.
The rehabilitation activities of Tenikwa are subject to strict Permit conditions issued by several governmental regulatory bodies such as The Department of Environment and CapeNature Conservation Services and Tenikwa abides by conditions of permit whereby animals under rehabilitation are not exhibited to the general public. The animals that guests may see and interact with during normal guided tours at The Awareness Centre, are all animals that are non-releasable and act as inspiration for their species in the wild.
Whilst Tenikwa has a self-funding mechanism through utilising the gate takings of visitors to the Awareness Centre to fund its rehabilitation program, the treatment, specialized care and complexity of successfully returning animals to the wild is a very expensive business. The Rehabilitation Centre operates as a non-profit organization and public donations, bequeaths and sponsorships are gratefully accepted and responsibly utilized to achieve our conservation goal of ensuring that all wild animals admitted for rehabilitation have the maximum opportunity to return to the wild where they belong.