Monday, 1 July 2013

We Were in Trouble...

Some of our more vulnerable animals, like this eland bull, have already succumbed to drought.  Without supplementary feeding, all of them will face possible starvation.
Stone Hills has provided sanctuary and care for generations of wild animals, allowing them to live free, undisturbed lives in their natural environment. But a two-year drought has left them with almost no browse or edible grass, and it won’t be long before there is nothing at all to eat.  Our first chance of relief may come only in November, when the rains normally start but that, of course, cannot be guaranteed.

Drought is only one of the huge challenges facing Zimbabwe’s beleaguered wildlife, which is being poached and hunted even in traditionally “protected” areas; shot, stoned, chased with dogs and trapped in wire snares to die deaths of monstrous cruelty.

On Stone Hills we have seven scouts patrolling daily, so poaching is rare, but it is rampant throughout most of the country. Tragically, wildlife conservation is a low priority to the authorities - making it even more crucial for us to safeguard those animals that survive.
[Read more about the drought here]

For a malnourished mother, a calf can be an impossible burden.
It has been a hard decision to ask for help – but ask we did. We hoped you would consider helping us through the drought – not for us, but for the eight hundred and more wonderful animals who depend on Stone Hills for their survival. 

And help you did! In an overwhelming month of generosity from all around the world we raised the funds to purchase 53 tonnes of feed and a futher 15 plus tonnes were donated by Centra, Front-Line Farming and Mac Crawford.

Stone Hills is a safe haven for its animals – a true sanctuary – and they are the reason that we are still here.   Despite all the insecurities of life in Zimbabwe, we are determined to do everything in our power to ensure their survival and the continuation of the project we began 24 years ago. Luckily, we are not alone.  So many people around the world have read our books and seen the honey badger documentary, and they’ve written to us expressing their empathy and support for our work.

In order to save the 800 plus larger ungulates on Stone Hills, we must give them supplementary food until the end of November. The cost is US$25 for each animal, so we needed US$20,000 to get them all through the drought.

This is where you came in – as friends and supporters of our wildlife. With your help, we are giving our animals the future that is rightfully theirs. We are enormously grateful for all assistance you have given, and we promise you that 100% of it has gone to feeding the animals.