As South Africa moves into winter, there is a lot of preparation going on at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary so that our lions and tigers will be cozy and warm.
Winter in South Africa is cold and dry – and fire season. June and July are the coldest months when temperatures can drop below zero. Before the cold sets in, we need to finish building all the brick night-houses for our new residents from Guatemala. We must also cut all the fire breaks to stop the wildfires at our perimeter fence, and additional firebreaks around and inside every lion and tiger habitat.
The serious decline in donations due to the global lockdown, and closure of suppliers, has set back our building program and we need your help to catch up.
What we have done so far:
- Heavy rubber insulation has been added to the lions and tigers’ day platforms/dens to provide additional insulation (this is taken off each summer).
- The 25 lions ADI rescued from circuses in Colombia and Peru, and Kesari (the lion from Pretoria Zoo) all have night-houses, with heated floors for the senior animals.
- Two houses are complete for six of the Guatemala tigers – Itza, Stripes, Max, Sombra, Lupe, and Bimbi.
- Construction is underway for two night-houses for lions Tomas, Kimba and Sasha from Guatemala.
And what we must do NOW
- Purchase the materials and complete the two night-houses for tigers Sasha and Kumal and our tiger girls Sun, Moon, Luna and Jade; plus one for lions Tarzan and Tanya.
- Cut fire breaks in the grass around our perimeter fences, the lion and tiger habitats. In case a wildfire gets onto the sanctuary, the places of safe shelter for the residents are the feeding camps and night-houses.
- Service our fire fighters – high pressure water pumps to fight fires and wet the grass in our residents’ safe areas. Last year we stopped a wildfire in its tracks at our perimeter fence (a car crashed and burst into flames) – thanks to our extensive perimeter firebreaks and fast action with our fire fighters by the ADIWS team.
So much more than a cozy place to sleep!
As well as keeping the animals cozy in winter, our night-houses play an important role in any introduction process too. We can use them to feed animals close to each other while they are safely separated, and see how they get along. They are also important for separating animals for giving medication and, if someone is unwell, we can isolate them for observation without taking them away from their families.
Our tigers are all related. It took two rescue operations, 8 months apart, to save all 12 tigers. Sasha and Kumal, who adore each other, have a beautiful 2.5 acre habitat with several pools (some are natural) and a lake. The remainder of the huge tiger territory is divided into two, one for six tigers and another of four, and we believe that, with the help of night-houses, we may be able to reunite this family into a huge group of ten.
Right now, it is urgent to complete our night-houses for the winter, but for the long-term care of our animals, as you can see, these buildings offer so much more.
Your support is crucial
With the COVID-19 pandemic destroying our income, we are struggling, and – having worked so long and hard to rescue these animals, pushing ourselves to the limit – it is heartbreaking to be faced with this disaster now.
We really need help to pay for the animals’ care and especially, for the final night-houses (£15,000 / $18,182). Can you help us get through this crisis?