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Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
Join a dedicated team rehabilitating and caring for injured and poisoned wildlife
In the shadow of the majestic Drakensberg mountains, this unique conservancy is home to a lioness caught in a snare and lion confiscated from illegal lion breeders, injured raptors, poisoned vultures, Porsche the cheetah and many more. Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre aims to contribute to the conservation of endangered species and the rehabilitation of injured and poisoned wildlife
Alongside the education of locals through facilitated tours of the centre, Moholoholo is the only facility in southern Africa to have successfully bred the endangered crowned eagle. They have also successfully trappend and relocated 10-15 leopards per year over the last years - some have been relocated as far as Malawi! Offering this relocation option has prevented local farmers from killing leopards they perceive to be a problem.
Nap time with a zebra
Volunteer bonding with an injured zebra
A brief video of life as a volunteer at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Volunteer bottle-feeding young cheetahs
Mongoose vs Rhino
Clearly, mongoose don't have a good understanding of their size and strength in relation to a rhino.
Volunteer dressing wounds
Leopards are fierce predators and as such can be a threat to livestock farms. Moholoholo is often called to capture a leopard at a nearby farm. The leopards are then quarantined for a while before being released into safe reserves.
"Problem" leopards are usually relocated to safe reserves - these 2 leopards went all the way to Malawi!
Never forget you are working with wild animals - some of which are scared or stressed in temporary captivity!
Friendly bushbaby and volunteer
Bushbabies are very nosy!
Mothering a Young Rhino
Volunteers providing round the clock care for an orphaned rhino
Rhinos in mud bath
An important part of hand rearing wildlife is to give the young animals an upbringing as close as possible to how they would live in nature - and that includes their hygiene routines.
Young rhinos follow their mothers everywhere - and so do the rhino charges in the care of their volunteer mums and dads.
Relocating honey badgers
Local farmers have been struggling with honey badgers preying on their chicken. Instead of killing the badgers, they call Moholoholo, who trap them, give them a health check and the release them in a safe reserve - far away from chicken farmers.
Feeding round at the aviary
Volunteer feeding zebra
Zebras are normally very shy - but not when there are treats involved.
Genet in care
Many animals at Moholoholo need some care and attention when they arrive.
Releasing the genet
After the animals are nursed back to health, the most rewarding moment is when they are released back into the wild.
Caring for a tiny bushbaby
Humphrey the hippo
Looking after Humphrey the Hippo
Bottle-feeding hungry warthog piglets
Moholoholo volunteer multi-tasking with hungry warthog piglets
Rest time for rhinos
Time for a lunch time nap for the rhino babies.
2 young lions growing up at Moholoholo
Caring for young rhinos
A volunteer on rhino baby-sitting duty
Stoffel the honeybadger
Stoffel the honeybadger is one of Moholoholo's permanent residents
Moholoholo Volunteer Accommodation
Dorm room at Moholoholo
Work with the Wildlife
The management and staff of the centre are a group of dedicated conservationists committed to the preservation of wildlife. Their intimate knowledge of the animals they so lovingly care for is nothing less than impressive. Work can be of a reactionary nature and unpredictable. As a volunteer at Moholoholo you will join their dedicated team and may be involved in:
Daily husbandry and care of permanent residents at the centre
- Many animals brought into the centre cannot be released back into a wild environment due to the nature and extent of their injuries. The continuous care of these animals will be at the core of your day, including feeding and at times exercising animals. Of course it is not always glamorous work and you will be required to clean enclosures, mop floors, scrub bedding mats, prepare food and cut grass for bedding regularly. Please note there are many carnivores who live at the centre and some handling of meat is necessary when feeding species such as lions, cheetah, leopard and hyena.
- Moholoholo has an extensive aviary and raptor enclosure, making this an ideal project if you are interested in the care of birds of prey.
Treatment and care of sick, injured and orphaned animals
- Sick and injured birds, mammals and reptiles are often brought into the centre, requiring a high level of treatment and care before their subsequent release back into a wild environment. This can involve looking after young animals, hand rearing orphaned animals and bottle feeding them as it is often the young animals that are most vulnerable.
- Animals brought into the centre can range from warthog piglets to cheetah and rhino and every animal is treated with the same care. The responsibility of hand rearing a wild animal is guided by staff at the centre and offered to volunteers depending on their natural affinity with the animal and how long the animal may require that care for.
- Many animals that pass through the centre require some medical treatment due to injuries sustained or poisoning. Moholoholo employ a full time veterinary nurse and you may have the opportunity to assist her in bandaging, treatment and cleaning of wounds when required.
Attending call outs to capture animals for relocation or treatment
- Moholoholo is often the first port of call for neighbouring landowners and local farmers when animals are causing problems on the land or are found needing treatment. You may be part of the team that darts or humanely traps the animals to be brought into the centre for treatment, to be hand reared if they are orphaned, or to be released onto a nearby game reserve.
Hear from other volunteers who've visited Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
To have two rhinos suckling at your pyjamas at 2am demanding milk is an experience like no other! There were challenging times, with the rhinos and with the cheetah and lion cubs that were brought in, but what I found so great was the support that the volunteers gave each other.
I had always longed to experience something more than a 'normal safari' - with ACE I achieved more than I could dream possible: I raised a baby cheetah called Porsche; our days were spent bottle-feeding, play-stalking and learning to hunt. I assisted with veterinary work, poisoning cases, leopard-tracking and releasing two cheetahs. Not a day goes by where I don't apply something I learned about myself and the delicate world around me.
I learnt so much, not only about the work but about South Africa, politics and life. We were looked after from start to finish. The best experience of my life!
Any small queries were answered as soon as I called the ACE team...extremely friendly, accommodating and informative. It's been my life long ambition to work with animals in South Africa and it exceeded my expectations in every way...I've come back feeling more driven than ever to pursue a career with animals. Without doubt the most amazing experience I have ever had!
Daniel Spreckley, 2010
"My most memorable moment was spending time with a serval named Star at Moholoholo who had detached herself from people ...I made a bond with her that she lost with people a long time ago which was amazing."
Thank you for getting my certificate sent out to me! I really appreciate it! Also, just wanted to say thank you so much to every one involved in organising my trip to South Africa. I'm very impressed with the planning and smooth running of the trip as a whole. The month I spent at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre was definately the best experience of my life!! South Africa has been an experience that will stay with me forever and i've made life long friends which will last forever. I would certainly recommend ACE to anyone who is passionate about wildlife and wants to travel. Thank you!
I would use ACE again and recommend to others - very helpful people. There are cheaper companies but none that I felt comfortable using! My most memorable moment was helping to care for a very poorly 2 week old orphaned elephant.
5 -24.52082824707 30.906553268433 Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
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