Monday, 20 May 2013

Yebo Gogga 2013

Yebo Gogga 2013 (Educational Expo) - Wits University

The theme....underground

This year's theme was underground, and there were so many amazing exhibits! If your children or learners love bugs, the outdoors, dinasours, trees or anything cool, you have to get them to Yebo Gogga next year!
It's quite difficult for cheetahs to fit into this theme, and our stand was put up as a combined effort with other environmental education organisations. Co-Action is the name of the group, and at this stage represents The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots, Vulpro and Eco-Pilots. We decided our theme would be "Don't go underground, take action". At our stand, we showed horrific images to the learners and adults about pollution, deforestation etc, and challenged them to take one small action to improve our environment. This was written down as a pledge on a leaf, and hung on a net. The idea was to show the combined efforts would make a huge difference, even if each pledge individually was a small way to help. 
Learners at our exhibit
Our Pledge wall nice and full of pledges
Hanging our own pledges :-)
Scary images made learners think hard about how they could help our environment

Huge turn out

It was a great success, and there was an estimated 5000 visitors during the course of the Expo, which ran from 8th May - 12th May. Byron, our ambassador cheetah made an appearance on Saturday and Sunday after a presentation about the centre and the work we do. As always, he was a true star, and touched many hearts.

Contact details of other exhibitors:

Adventures with Nature (books)                   011 954 4675
All-Out Creations                                             082 569 0706
Delta Park Environmental                             011 888 4831
Earthworm Buddies                                        072 533 0304
FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre        011 807 6993
Gauteng Conservancy & Stewardship Ass    016 590 2914
Grow-a-tree                                                      071 421 2522
Jane Goodal Institute                                      079 777 1514
Johannesburg Zoo                                          011 646 2000 
Kloofendal, Friends of                                   011 674 2980
Lepidopterist Society                                      082 327 2090
Medical Entomology                                       011 386 6486
National Zoological Gardens (Pretoria)      012 328 3265
Rand Water – Education                                083 381 9671
Rhino SA                                                           078 643 6430
SANParks Honourary Rangers                     083 793 3019
Sci-Bono Discovery Centre                           011 639 8400
Beekeepers Association        084 514 0948
Spider Club of South Africa                          082 5656 025

Kind regards,

Rita Groenewald
012 504 9906/7/8

Friday, 17 May 2013

Jedi's adventures

Highlights from our Anatolian ambassador, Jedi.

Getting cuddles and giving puppy kisses at St. Peters Prep
Jedi is such a lovely Anatolian  that he can double up as a domestic dog ambassador at rural schools, or strut his stuff as a hardcore breed of dog that protects livestock with their lives against predators. With many of our predators living on farmlands, there is often conflict with farmers. Anatolian guard dogs live with livestock, and keep predators away, allowing farmers to live harmoniously with cheetah, caracals, jackals etc. and reducing their financial losses substantially. With about 110 Anatolian living on farms in south Africa  this amazing breed of dog is making a big difference to our cheetahs living outside of protected areas.

Jedi meeting learners at Sci Bono
Loving the wind in his face

Jedi is a small example of the breed, but during our presentation about wild dogs, vultures and conflict with farmers, Jedi makes an appearance to show learners what this type of dog looks like.

Many of our rural schools enjoy meeting Jedi, because he is so calm, and often encourages the little ones to pet him, and overcome their fear of dogs. Working together with Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots programme about domestic animals, Jedi has recently visited the groups in Lenasia and Alexandria.

Jedi Chilling at a restaurant during a day out  last week

Jedi and our education team often have great fun on our excursions, and he is always keen for a cuddle.

An early morning for Jedi and I on the way to St. Peter's Prep

A happy puppy needs to see where we are going
Cynthia Kemp helping us out at Yebo gogga. Jedi is not sure about all the rhino dung at the  Rhino SA stand...

Please contact me if you would like me to visit your school :-)

Rita Groenewald
083 252 8848
012 504 9906

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Great progress from Sagira, and Yeats turns 3!!

Yeats' 3rd Birthday

It's hard to believe how fast time passes, but our young little star turned 3 years old on 29 April. He is doing very well at school visits, and has a lovely temperament.

It was a very quiet birthday party this year, but he did get a mince cake as a treat.

Sagira Visits Laerskool Fontainebleau

Our amazing little Egyptian vulture ambassador visited her first school since she found out she could fly. We have been doing some basic training, and I think I was more nervous of the visit than she was. Sagira was confident and amazed the children that the belonged to the nature club by sitting calming on my glove. She even hopped onto the desks in the media centre so that the learners were able to have a closer look. "Juffrou" Tersia was also able to experience the feeling of having a critically endangered vulture sit on her arm, and Sagira was a complete rockstar!

If you would like any further information about our education programme, or our ambassadors, please contact me on or 012 504 9906

Rita Groenewald