Over the last couple of months we have had 2 wildlife releases in Iphithi. CROW and The African Bird of Prey Sanctuary have agreed to use Iphithi to release certain rescued/ captivity bred species as our varied habitats are so suitable. This has all been arranged by Frans Schutz, a supporter and past committee member, whose home borders the reserve. In August, CROW released a young blue duiker that had been caught in a fence in the suburbs. These little animals become so stressed that, unless they can be released within hours, they are simply put down. They usually do not survive in captivity for long as they often break a number of limbs in a desperate attempt to escape. As can be seen by the fleeting image of the duiker in full flight, this was a ‘quick’ release. Image by Martin Schutz.
Today, a beautiful young wood owl will be released. It has been hatched in captivity at the Bird of Prey Sanctuary and was brought down to a holding cage in Frans’ garden 10 days ago. Today Frans will open the release door and allow ‘Frikkie’ to find his own way out. Having enjoyed meals of day old chicks, he may well come back for breakfast over the next few days, but will hopefully make his home in Iphithi.
This brings to attention the enormous responsibility of the home owner! This little owl will only survive to adulthood, and grow the Iphithi family of wood owls, if we all stop using poisons, especially rat poisons, immediately! Wood and barn owls are fantastically efficient hunters and will soon keep our rodent populations down if given the chance.
To those who walk their dogs in the reserve: our numbers of bush buck, duiker and dassies have recently increased so please ensure you keep your dogs on a tight leash to keep our mammal population safe!