The Twala Trust
Bally Vaughan Sanctuary
Tel: 263 772592944 263 733436239
fb: The Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary
As most of you are aware, we are awaiting judgement in a court case that will determine whether or not we can move our family of rescued animals from Bally Vaughan to the Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary.
There is a new life awaiting our beloved rescue animals at Twala, and this time it is a forever home. The sunlight breaks into a million incandescent sparkles on the waters of the dam as the fish eagles swoop down and welcome us with their haunting call. A giant kingfisher sits in sharp-beaked profile against the golden glare of the summer sun and a flotilla of white-faced ducks drift on the cool green surface of the water. There are hoopoes on the lawn, their crested heads bobbing officiously as they march across the brilliant green grass in search of a snack. A mongoose flashes across the dusty road and into the sun-scorched grass and shoals of sun-silvered bream catch the predatory attention of a solitary grey heron. A hornbill sails serenely from the dense shade of one ancient, gnarled miombo tree to another. Twala is full of huge, indigenous trees, their ancient trunks bristling with lichen and their spreading branches a haven for a host of birds and other small creatures. We see the neat round prints of a serval cat in the damp sand by one of the crystal-clear streams and the sleek gleam of an otter in the dam one evening as the sun sets in a carmine sky streaked with the smoky dark shadows of the bush-fire season. Duikers and hares freeze and then bolt as we walk through the bush with our family of rescue dogs, and a young impala ram snorts an alarm call when we spot his spiralling horns through the trees. In the cool blue twilight a magnificent civet plods on his flat furry feet across the road, focused on a night of foraging. A variety of owls add their shrieks and hoots to the night symphony and frogs and crickets sing their vibrating songs into the darkness as the spine-chilling scream of a bushbaby, resident in an acacia tree in the garden, travels across the valley.
The yard at Twala is full of enormous rolls of wire and tottering pyramids of gum poles, stacks of steel and bags of cement. Trucks roar down our road with piles of sand and stones and fencing wire and the air vibrates with the sound of hammering and sawing and drilling as the predator enclosures go up. Every scrap of wood, wire and steel is put to good use. Volunteers from Zimbabwe, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Canada and the UK are all helping out with the building of Twala. New neighbours offer assistance too and we are so very grateful to be a part of this community and to be made so welcome.
The homes for the animals at Twala have all been built to give the rescued animals as much space, privacy and comfort as possible. The huge lion enclosures are built on the hill, overlooking the serene green and gold valley where a chain of dams are pooled along the river like a silver necklace shining in the sun. These will be the homes of our rescued lions – Wire and Kimberly, Joshua and Johanna and Juno and Fluffy – all rescued by us in 2011 and 2012, darling Nduna who we gave a home to in 2007 and who we nursed back to health after he was paralysed, and our beautiful, most beloved lioness Kadiki – entrusted into our care by Chooks and the late Jon Langerman. Their new homes have been built with such love and care, for lions who deserve the very best we can give them.
There is a sprawling new home, complete with bath tub, for Kylie the hyena we rescued in the chaos of 2008 and who revels in the bond she shares with Vin. He bathes her every Saturday and she waits for the sound of his car, her eyes gleaming with anticipation and her huge fluffy body tense with expectation. Once Vin is in the enclosure, Kylie gives him a rapturous hyena welcome, grinning and licking him and standing on tiptoe with her huge snout in the air demanding a kiss. The trust and affection shown by this enormous predator reminds us time and again why we do what we do.
There are sunny spots at Twala for Meredith the meerkat and her little friends, Simba the cat and Angus the genet. There is a play area for the baby monkeys and a quiet, leafy owl hospital. Already we have rehabilitated and released four rescued barn owls at Twala. There are grassy paddocks for the many farm animals we have rescued over the past eight years – animals that had experienced neglect and abuse and starvation and now expect breakfast and dinner and a cuddle every day. The new serval enclosures incorporate the river and a thousand rustling opportunities to stalk and pounce amongst the reed beds and trees.
These animals are our family. They have joined us over the last eight years, through our rescue and rehabilitation programme, and we love them all. They have been healed and nurtured and sheltered and fed with the steadfast support of our friends and sponsors. The veterinary treatment so many of them require is provided unstintingly, and free of charge, by Dr Vin Ramlaul, the Twenty Four Veterinary Surgery and other dedicated vets such as the Aware Trust. The animals would not be alive if it were not for these people, and the staff and volunteers who give so much to give the animals the life that they deserve. This is why we are not giving up on these animals and we are fighting to bring them to Twala, where they belong. Our only wish is to move OUR animals, rescued while we were running our rescue and rehabilitation programme from 2005 to date, to Twala. There are, sadly, some animals that must remain behind as they were on the property prior to our tenancy. We accept this, and simply feel great sadness that after so much love, effort and determination has gone into Bally Vaughan Sanctuary, that the animals are now in limbo.
Already Twala is bustling with life. Our rescued horses, darling old Uno with her twisted ear and long, bony face wanders through the Sanctuary with Griffin, an enormous and startlingly handsome white horse with feet the size of dinner plats and a head as noble and pale and proud as a storybook unicorn. Cedric, a rescued vervet monkey, lolls in his hammock munching on a selection of treats, and Trinepon, a hinge-backed tortoise with a glued-together shell is recuperating in the hospital. Evelyn, a little orphaned duiker, is curled up in the nursery surrounded by solicitous furred and feathered companions, whose devotion may also have something to do with the stack of hot water bottles tucked into Evelyn’s bed. Shadow and Hissy, the glossy black kittens sprawl beside Rex and Terra, two plump white chickens. Evelyn needs night feeds and dedicated care as she is only a few weeks old. Her luminous brown eyes and cute little top-knot of fur between her huge ears give her the look of an innocent, but beneath the beguiling exterior lurks a heart of steel. Meals must be served on time, at the correct temperature and in one particular bottle only. Any deviation results in swift and startling violence – to date our injuries include a black eye and a blood nose. Each day the entire nursery heads out to play in the garden – duiker, cats and chickens are monitored by the volunteers as they gambol about on the lawn, watched with narrow-eyed concentration and ill-disguised resentment by the excluded dogs who try to rush the gate at every opportunity.
We are still taking care of all of the animals at Bally Vaughan so please visit us there to support the animals. We would love to see you! The Twala Trust Golf Day is being held at Wingate Golf Club on 13 September 2013 and we would be very grateful for your support. We are also delighted to announce that Fraser Mackay and friends are holding a gig at Old Georgians Sports Club on 28 September 2013 to raise funds for the Twala Trust. ALL the artists are donating their time, as are the organisers, and the sound equipment has also been donated, so all funds raised on the night will benefit the animals. We are so very grateful to all these wonderful people for taking this to heart and making such a hugely generous gesture to support us. Thank you Fraser Mackay, Kevin and Adele Barton, Di Fynn, Ashely-Kate Davidson, Old Georgians, Footloose, Finding Burt, Christina Jenkins, Middle-Aged Spread, Gemma Griffiths, Tina Musawi, Peter van Deventer, Andre and Lou Vermaak, Reuben Chisale and Volsec Security.
Our thanks also go to the Save Foundation (Australia), Cool Galah (Australia), Laura Simpson of the Harmony Fund and The Great Animal Rescue for taking up our cause, Photographers for the Preservation of Nature, Cedric Jacquet and Elyane van Coillie, The Cleft, Zimbabwe, Chipo Muranda and friends, Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force and the Rodrigues family, Tikki Hywood Trust, Jenni Ferguson and Move-It, Joanne Lamb, Mark Lubbe and family, the Holtzhausens, constant friends Kim and Campbell MacMillan and all at 9a Drew Road, Karl Klein and Moldon Marketing, Sue Roberts, Steve Watt, Anton Newall and Lion and Cheetah Park, Fence Africa, Curverid Tobacco, Stacey Cilliers, TBK, Wendy Care, the Potgieter family and especially Annie-Rose Potgieter who held a toy sale to raise funds for the animals, the International School of Luxembourg who we are proud to say have chosen Twala as a fund-raising project, Lynette Dackner, the Khumalo family, Belinda Knapp, Trinity Ncube, Wendy Robinson, Kate Eames, Ashley Davies, Kim Meaden-Kendrick, Karen Paolillo and Hippo Haven, Mr Mutsvairo, Sherrol D’Elia and her family and friends, Lucy Morton-Smith, Milena Gallana, Veronica Neethling, Duncan Dollar, B.S.I, Golfing and Giving, Westridge High School, Belinda Badenhorst, Peter’s Signs, Signs of the Times, Harare Show Society, Alexa Volker, Waste-Away, Joe Leese, Sarah Jackson and Derek Selby, the Middleton family, Debs Sly and her lunch group, Trek Petroleum for a very generous donation of fuel, Viv van Lindert, Sharon Nicholls, Garth and Yvonne Nicholls, Nicole Havell, Gareth Howell, Jackie Silva, Pauline Visser and Atlas Earth-Movers, Sheena Povall, Nora Hudgestone, Conan Stockill and Waylon Lewis, Montana Meats and the Duncan family, Dr Mark Lombard, Douglyn Farm, Lin McLeod, Dianne Twiggs, Sally Dennis, Roselyn Wipf, Beverly Bridger, Derek Cotterill, Enid Graver, Carole Graham, Chris and Maimie Noon, Lorraine Thomas and Mike Wedlock, John Davidson, Chooks Langerman, Sarah Kenchington, Catherine Carter, Sylvia Carter, Natalie Joyce, Ralph and Greg Stead and Sawpower for such generous support, Kath Gau, Andrew Sarsfield-Hall, the Cartwright family, Ant Fynn, Gerry Jackson, Chris Wade and family, Jill and Warren Barton, the Friend Foundation, VAWS, Alro Shipping and Transport who are always there to help, our friend Karen Bean and the Book Borrowers, Gina Everson, Anita Gossman, Ann Horstman, Rob Stewart, Appliance Warehouse and the Colliers, Telford Mica, Karen and Stacy Gent and Orobianco, the Carlisle family, Amanda Mileson, Mrs Loveridge, Gladys Little, Lyn Cloete, Kevin Stead Linda Turnbull Shane Zangel, Andrew Revolta, Craig Sly, Kit Madsen, Luke Bullous, Amy Randle, Justine Carter, Katelyn Wood and Evangeline McElwain.
Over the past eight years our rescue and rehabilitation programme has given so many animals a second chance. Thank you for being with us on this journey, and for giving us the chance to build the Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary for them.
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With love and thanks
Sarah, Vin and all the animals
The Twala Trust
Bally Vaughan Sanctuary
Tel: 263 772592944 263 733436239
fb: The Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary