My favourite part about our South African road trip is how many family friendly places we have visited over the last month. If you choose carefully, many of these kid friendly outings can also have an educational component, which means I can hand the teaching reigns over to someone else for a few hours and have a day off home school for myself. Hooray!
When we visited Jukani in Plettenberg Bay, our knowledgeable guide, Bravo, became the teacher for the day and I found myself learning together with the kids, about the amazing work they do.
All the animals at Jukani have been rescued. Many of the cats were removed from the canned hunting industry while zebras, raccoons, honey badgers and snakes were removed from zoos or private homes. Can I just interject here and say, all it took was one look at these lion cubs staring hungrily at the zebras in the neighbouring enclosure to ask, why on earth would someone try and domesticate a lion. Asking for trouble, are you?
The first enclosure we walked past on our hour long tour, was the home of the zebra and springbok. Jukani does not allow their animals to breed because they feel it is cruel so all the female animals receive contraceptive injections as often as their breeding cycle necessitates.
When they rescued the zebra, one of the females was already pregnant so there is a foal in the enclosure. I found it amusing that, despite having miles of green grass to graze on, a few zebra insisted on sticking their heads through the fence to get to the short tufts on the other side. Quite similar to humans in that way, don’t you think?
One of the springbok sharing the enclosure with the zebra, had to have its leg amputated after being caught in a trap, but it hasn’t affected it’s behaviour or speed from what we could see.
This #gorgeous #siberiantiger was quite happy to mark his territory while we were learning about him but he made sure we were never our of of sight. When we went to see his sister on the other side of the enclosure, he made of point of including that area in his walk to make sure she was okay. #fascinating 😻
A photo posted by Tami (@rumtumtiggs) on
There is so much I could tell you about what we learned, but it might be better to encourage you to go and see for yourself. You will be hard pressed to find a group of more knowledgeable, professional guides who genuinely care about the work they do. You can buy tickets HERE.
I’d like to leave you with the story of Spirit, the misunderstood cat to remind you that sometimes, even the prickliest personalities just want a chance to tell their story.