Wednesday, 21 November 2012

New chick on the block...Egyptian Vulture Sagira

After losing two eggs from our Egyptian Vultures this year, we decided to incubate eggs from our breeding pair. We consulted Vulpro, and Kerri Wolter assisted us in the incubation process. On Friday 2nd November 2012, a very special little bird was hatched at Vulpro, and Kerri helped us look after the chick for the first week or so, as she has loads of experience with vulture hand-rearing.

Sagira has been with me now just  over a week, and has doubled in size. She is standing well, trying to eat on her own and wobbling around trying to start walking. At the moment her little primary feathers are pushing through, as she will soon start changing colour to a dark chick, with her juvenile colours. "Sagira" is an egyptian name which means little one, and considering that she will probably weigh about 2.5kg as an adult, she is a little vulture.

According to the IUCN, it is estimated that there are about 1000-2000 pairs left in Africa, and their current distribution is mainly found in Ethiopia and East Africa. Sadly once a resident bird of SA, there are very few citings, even of migrants in our country. As with many vulture species, reasons for decline in population numbers include disturbance, lead poisoning (from gun shot), direct poisoning, electrocution (by powerlines), collisions with wind turbines and reduced food availability.

 It is a privilege to be working with such a rare, and beautiful chick. We are hoping that Sagira will grow up big and strong, and become an ambassador for her endangered feathery friends, educating our youngsters about the plight of our vultures. So watch this space, she may be visiting a school near you one of these days!

2 Weeks old

3 Weeks old
Eating on my own!

Nearly 5 weeks old
Starting to Stand at 3 weeks old

6 Weeks old

Sagira will be 8 weeks old on Friday 28th December. She is healthy, and starting to exercise her wings nicely. I can't wait for her to begin trying to fly! Please come back to see videos of her flying as she grows :-)

An adult Egyptian Vulture

Monday, 5 November 2012


December is just around the corner...

Worried about keeping your children busy during the December School Holidays? Concerned about them watching television or being unsupervised and bored? Well, this could be the answer.
We have developed a two day, fun filled, educational and environmentally focused programme aimed at school children from the ages of 10 to 15. Let them spend 2 days learning about saving the planet, understanding and interacting with cheetah, tracking, documenting and casting spoor, attracting and identifying insects, differentiating alien from indigenous vegetation, turning waste into crafts and making paper from recycled paper and other material.

Please note, this is not a residential programme. It will run from 09h30 to 15h30 daily. Book early as space is limited. A maximum of 20 children can be accommodated per programme.

PROGRAMME DATES: December 2012 and January 2013.

Programme 1
DAY ONE includes: Presentation about
Cheetahs, Spoor identification and making
spoor casts, Hungry Ants activity, recycled paper mix, recycled craft
DAY TWO includes: Presentation on Recycle, Reuse and Reduce, Walking Tour, Vermiculture and herb gardening, Alien vegetation identification, Great Bug Search, Paper Making, Cheetah Interaction
Programme 2
DAY ONE includes: Crafts, Small 5 presentation, fossils and Leaf prints, long jump & run timing against cheetah, learning about endangered endemics, green fingers
DAY TWO includes: Wild dog presentation, Birding, Jewelry from computer parts 

VENUE: The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre – Hartbeespoort
COST: R250 per day. This includes a light lunch pack daily, a water bottle, handouts and all equipment required other than recycled material which will be brought from home (details will be supplied on confirmation of registration).


PLEASE CONTACT: Rita on (012) 504 9906/7/8 Cell: 083 252 8848