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November 30, 2010

Finding Sanctuary in South Africa

I’ve written many times about the life-changing work of our global affiliate Humane Society International (HSI). HSI extends the work of The HSUS all over the globe, providing relief in the wake of natural and human-caused disasters, securing better protections for threatened and endangered species, fighting factory farming, helping street dogs, and empowering and training local animal protection groups.

Today though I want to tell you about HSI’s work with the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa and extend a personal invitation to you to join us at the sanctuary.

For more than 20 years, SanWild has been rescuing orphaned, injured, neglected and abused wild animals and then, once their health is restored, releasing the animals into the large sanctuary to spend the rest of their life in settings largely free of adverse human impacts.

Each of the residents has a story that illustrates both woe and hope. Among SanWild’s thousands of inhabitants are two giraffes, Kariba and her mother Sindisa, who were saved after Sindisa was discovered caught in a poacher’s snare where she’d suffered for 10 days before being freed.  Nine elephant residents were saved from certain death when the owners of the land they inhabited wanted them removed. There is also a pack of rambunctious wild dogs rescued from a deficient zoo, and two hippos rescued from a travelling circus.

As part of our new Humane Travels program, we’re now offering the opportunity to travel with HSI to experience South Africa and the SanWild sanctuary firsthand, while providing much-needed funds for wildlife protection programs. Throughout the weeklong visit, participants will explore South Africa’s many natural wonders on daylong excursions and learn about and observe the country’s amazing wild animals—a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You can learn more about the tours and see a schedule here, and learn more about SanWild in this video. Below are a few photos, courtesy of the sanctuary.

P.S. I wanted to thank you for your support so far in the Pepsi Refresh Project. Today is the final day to vote for The HSUS and while we're currently in first place, we still need your votes—please help us ensure our hold in the top spot by voting today and spreading the word. You can vote twice; through the Pepsi Refresh website and via phone by texting 104206 to Pepsi (73774). If successful, we’ll use the $250,000 grand prize to help fund our animal rescue work and further our efforts on behalf of animals suffering from abuse and neglect.

Herd of impalas grazes at SanWild
  Elephant enjoys his freedom at SanWild
A herd of impalas grazes peacefully.      An elephant enjoys his freedom.
Blyde River Canyon, one of South Africa's natural wonders

  Rescued lions play at SanWild

Blyde River Canyon, one of South Africa's natural wonders.      Rescued lions play affectionately.

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