Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education, Limpopo
Did you know?
C.A.R.E. is the only facility in southern Africa that focuses on baboons in need.
Rita Miljo founded the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education (C.A.R.E) in 1989 as a rehabilitation centre for injured indigenous wildlife. The centre is located along the Olifants River in the Limpopo province, very close to the world-famous Kruger National Park.
At the start Miljo mainly took care of small mammals, reptiles and birds, treating them and releasing them back into the wild. But the C.A.R.E. animal sanctuary quickly developed into a haven for injured and unwanted Chacma baboons.
Miljo, who died in 2012, was trained as a zookeeper in Germany and because of her enormous dedication, was affectionately known as ‘the baboon lady of Phalaborwa'.
C.A.R.E Animal Sanctuary is also known as Primate Care, and thrives on the help of volunteers who come from all over the world to sign up for hands-on experience in rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured baboons.
Many become quite smitten with baboon and return again and again to check up on ‘their babies’.
Baboons are offered little or no protection from provincial and national conservation authorities in South Africa, which often regard them as problem animals. Habitat destruction and agricultural encroachment have resulted in reduced home ranges, and where crops or urban habitats are threatened, people sometimes revert to drastic measures to kill the animals.
Supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Miljo's South African animal rescue initiative treats injured and orphaned primates and in 1994 C.A.R.E. was instrumental in the first successful release of hand-reared chacma baboons into the wild.
C.A.R.E has successfully released many baboons into protected area, and where necessary, cares for them on a long-term basis.