Hello, my name is Deborah and many of you are friends and family, but others might be friends of friends or even strangers. It doesn’t matter how you are coming to read this plea for support, just that you are. If you are an animal lover, and you care about the wild life in Africa, please consider my story.
This past summer, I had the honor of traveling to Zululand South Africa to work with a group of amazing animal monitors that are working day and night to protect endangered species from poaching and ultimately from total extinction. The monitors I worked with in uMkhuze Reserve were responsible for tracking and monitoring the Wild Dogs, Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards and Vultures in uMkhuze daily and if necessary are there to provide support if they became endangered by a snare or some type of poaching risk.
These “animal protectors” are only able to follow and track these wild animals by using either a telemetry or satellite collar. Each collar has a mortality signal built in to it, so when this special signal goes off alerting the monitor that the animal has not moved normally for a period of time, that animal can be tracked and rescued. But these collars are extremely costly, ranging from $1,500 - $5,000. The collars are generally put on the dominate males and/or females of the prides/packs; but some of the animals we were protecting tend towards a solitary life, so deciding which animals get collard is tricky. Why is this important, well if we can’t track an animal, we cannot protect it from danger and unfortunately many animals that don’t receive collars just disappear or succumb to a deadly snare or poacher without any chance of being rescued.
This was the case of one of our amazing Wild Dogs packs (WD8), which was a robust group 5 dogs when I first started my volunteer project and became literally a pack of one by the time I left. This fundraising campaign is in honor of Dakane, Macro and Fanakalo who all lost their lives to poachers, who snared them and then killed them for their body parts and hides on the black market. We know that Dakane was killed by poachers because he had a collar that allowed us to follow him and try to rescue him. Unfortunately, we were too late to save him and only found his cut off collar. But Macro his brother and Fanakalo the dominate female who were not collared have just gone missing and unfortunately without being able to track them we will never know what really happened to them. For those of us fighting for the protection of these beautiful species, it is painful to not give these creatures the best chance of surviving, and that is exactly what these collars do.
Please won’t you help me raise money for Wildlife ACT, so that when I return next summer I can bring them a check with me that will help them buy more collars for these vulnerable and amazing creatures. No donation is too big or too small…. even a few dollars goes a long way to helping. If you cannot donate, could you please then spread word of my campaign to people you know who would either like to donate or help me get the word out of this worthy endeavor.
Also, if you have interest in knowing more about Wildlife Act and volunteering or would like to follow me on Facebook, I have posted all my videos and pictures from my trip with details about my experience and my relationship with all the animals I supported while I was there. To find me on Facebook please friend me at Deborah Schaffer High