The African Bird of Prey Sanctuary is a working facility dedicated to the conservation of indigenous raptors and is base to ongoing research, breeding and rehabilitation projects for birds of prey. The majority of these projects run ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure that the integrity of the wild birds is not compromised and that a high release success rate is achieved. The sanctuary is also, however, home to a wide selection of captive-bred or ‘non-releasable rehabilitation’ birds of prey. These raptors can be viewed in their ‘micro-environment’ enclosures by anyone who wishes to visit and learn about South Africa’s magnificent aerial predators.
The African Bird of Prey Sanctuary opened quietly in June 2006, but was an amalgamation or a variety of projects that have been ongoing in KZN for the previous five years. Headed up by Shannon Hoffman, the sanctuary cares for over 180 different birds of prey of 50 different species. Partnering this project is the Mayibuye community, who owns the land on which the facility is built and shares a percentage of all gate takings.
We Educate in order to Conserve.
Education about birds of prey, and the threats that they face, is an important part of raptor conservation. No amount of research can be effective unless the results of the projects are shared with the greater public. Neither can conservation methods be successfully implemented unless people know and understand what both the raptors and related conservation projects are all about.
One of the primary roles of the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary is to introduce raptors, in all their magnificence, to the general public. To facilitate this, a specially trained group of raptors are flown in daily flight displays. These demonstrations allow the raptors themselves to become both teachers and ambassadors for their wild counterparts, so that members of the public can experience these normally rare and elusive birds first hand.
It is hoped that people, both young and old, and from all walks of life come away with an appreciation of South Africa’s fantastic diversity of raptor after seeing the birds first-hand.