Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Elephant rescue


I received this email over the weekend – it was too good not to share wit you all.

Enjoy. Smile


Most conservationists believe that man should not meddle with the natural order and that we should allow nature to run her course however cruel or grim it seems to be. We agree on the whole, unless a wildlife problem has been created by man (for instance in the case of snaring or being trapped in a fence, in which case it's justifiable to intervene) then nature should be left to her own devices. She has a plan.

However - every rule has an exception and the dreadful plight of a baby elephant trapped in the mud of the Kapani Lagoon and her mother, who had also got stuck trying to save her yesterday had us all in a frenzy of activity. We simply could not stand by and watch them struggle and slowly die. South Luangwa Conservation Society together with our neighbours - ZAWA - the wildlife authority - agreed with us and we all joined forces to try and save the mum and baby. I usually try to keep the newsletters short, but I hope you'll forgive me for making an exception with this one and agree that this story is worth a little extra time and attention.

Abraham got these great photos of the unfolding drama......

ele rescue 1

The family herd desperately trying to help the screaming Mum and baby escape

ele rescue 2

but they were completely stuck in the deep, rapidly drying mud with no chance of getting out

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The brave and skilled SLCS team manages to slip a rope under the baby, narrowly avoiding mums thrashing trunk - and starts to haul her out …..

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Nearly there - the whole team is hauling as hard as they can.....

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But the baby is terribly frightened and won't leave mum's side

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Again - she's out and we think we're almost there......

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But despite my frantic waving and shouting - she won't leave her mum

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One more try - the team pull her further away from mum this time.....

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They unwrap the ropes and help her to her feet

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This time - thanks to a young herd cousin calling her to safety.....

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she makes a dash for it as the rest of the herd scream for her to come to them

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Now back to mum who is dehydrated and exhausted - we've been pouring water over her to try to protect her from the scorching midday sun. SLCS staff carefully slip a rope under her....

ele rescue 15ele rescue 16

and the tractor starts to pull and pull - inching her out of what would have been a muddy grave - she seems to sense that there's a chance of escape and begins to struggle for her life...

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With us all shouting encouragement and just willing her to keep going "come on Mama, come on Mama"....... to the delight of us all - she makes it! Weak and wobbly she drags herself out

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and runs to find her baby and the rest of her waiting herd! The happiest possible ending!

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The SLCS team all share a celebratory drink on the Kapani deck with our relieved guests!

ele rescue 22

This is all in a day’s work for the amazing Rachel McRobb and her outstanding team at The South Luangwa Conservation Society. Go to www.slcszambia.org - it’s a fantastic site and well worth a visit. You will be amazed at what this relatively small group can achieve – their dedication and commitment to wildlife is inspiring. Together with our local wildlife authority – the South Luangwa Area Management Unit of the Zambia Wildlife Authority, they are extremely effective at anti-poaching activities including anti-snaring and patrolling in vulnerable areas of the National Park. Rachel and her team are also skilled at darting snared animals, removing the snares and treating the horrific wounds they cause. Their awareness raising activities and work with other local conservation groups are incredibly effective. Of course – this all takes money so please consider becoming a regular supporter.

Our MD Dave Wilson and NCS Director Adrian Carr are both active trustees in SLCS. It was extremely heartening for us all to see how many local people joined in the efforts to free these two elephants – the cheers of joy, first when the baby ran to his cousin and then when Mum was finally released from the jaws of the sticky, cloying mud were wonderful! Everyone seemed to identify with the mum’s plight - we all saw the incredible emotional bond between the worried herd members and mum and baby. Thank you SLCS and ZAWA and also all the NCS staff who bravely fought to make this a happy ending!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Immigrating With Your Pets – Part 2


Hi everyone.

This is a follow up post about immigrating with your pets.

While the last post was based on the facts and details of the new quarantine laws, this post is a personal account from two lovely ladies who have both travelled with their pets.

I hope that after reading the two posts you have a better idea of what to expect.

First is a little more info for you from Tilanie, and then an article from Liz.

Thank you Tilanie and Liz for your input. You are both animal angels in my eyes. Thank you for helping me to help other pet parents.

Tilanie writes:

I have moved from South Africa to Austria and back with my pets in tow as well as moving my first German Shepherd from Germany to South Africa. And my parents also moved overseas with pets.

Moving with a well known pet company. I think this is the better option as they – especially today flying from SA stay with your pet/pets till they are boarded.

They organise all the paper work, all you need to make sure of is that you have all their vaccinations up to date – they will also organise either a box or a crate for you dog or cat which yes it is pricey but oh so worth it.

They will tell you whether it is necessary to tranquilise your animal (this depends on the distance).

Moving my dogs to Austria did not require any sort quarantine. And I made sure that they were on the same plane as myself every time. Went straight to the cargo section and got my boys when I was through (however, prior arrangements can be made to have the company organise someone on the other side)

I also did a trip from Germany to South Africa – also through a company.

Then I did the trip from Austria to South Africa – this was a nightmare as the company who used to do this over there was no longer in operation. That left me running left right and centre for signatures and stamps etc. It also meant having to take my boys to the airport and crating them and I had to catch the same flight so I had to leave them in the cargo hold without any supervision (nightmare for me).

Other thing was that my one was getting more hyper from the sedatives – and managed to open his crate – thankfully I was still there so we were forced to put a lock on the crate – this is not advisable because in an emergency situation the animal can not be freed very easily. From my own experience, I would advocate using a reputable company for the safety of the animals and your own peace of mind.

On both occassions where I used a company to move my dogs I was truly satisfied and happy with the end result, happy wagging tails to see their mom.

This is a piece from Liz whose doggies are in quarantine, she recently moved to the UK from SA.

These are your pets you are moving overseas so do not let any one bully you. You know your pets better than anyone and know their likes, dislikes and behavourial patterns.

As we know there is no quarantine now for most countries although check as there maybe about 3 very unknown places that will require quarantine. Make sure all animals have their Rabies shots three months prior to departure and the blood test a month before departure , de-wormed, micro chipped and a Pet Passport also required prior to departure. If not obtained the animals will be in quarantine for 3 months.Check the DEFRA website it clearly states all requirements.

On arrival at any airport there will be a 2-4 hour wait. The State vet has to check all animals to make sure they are healthy and to check all papers are in order.

I researched every cargo pet carrier and found Pet Wings in South Africa the best. They are knowledgeable, sympathetic to your needs and the animals, they will clearly state the animals are their first priority not the owners feeling. Any questions they will answer promptly and be very informative.

All animals will be crated and will go into cargo. Get these crates as soon as possible. Put the pets blankets in them, put treats in the crates and feed them in the crates this will help the animal not to be frightened when the time comes for travel.

Departure, only your animals will be in the van on collection. Each crate will have 2 water bowls, make sure you have frozen the water. This will stop spillage, also last longer for the journey and stay cool. If more than one animal travelling ask for the crates to be put opposite each other so the animals can see one another, it does reassure them. I had 3 dogs going overseas and managed to get them in the van and on the plane where all could see one another. Again it really is a question of 'You are paying for this service it will be done as you request' as much as possible.Do not be bullied but be firmly polite.

I can honestly say the travel and flight was never a problem, everyone concerned was informative, kind and went out of their way to make it as painless as possible for animal and human. After all and you may not believe me but us humans suffer far more than the animals. Think of it as an adventure and in a few hours all will be reunited

New Zealand, Australia and Canada are going to have sticker laws for animals coming into their countries but still does not include quarantine. This will not be known until 2011 when the UK stops their quarantine.

Unfortunately this was by far the easy part for my animals trip. Mine have had to spend 6 months in quarantine and are still there till Dec 18. I have always been a firm believer quarantine or not if anyone loves their animals they will go where the owner goes and not be left behind. Now there is no excuse, quarantine for the UK from 2nd January 2011 no longer exists and in all European Countries and America there is no quarantine. What a joy to know if all regulations are followed where you go your beloved pets can go to. This had been one of the best laws the British Government has abolished. Quarantine came from the dark ages and should have been abolished years ago but even so I still put my animals through this and would do so again because they are loved and could never live with the not knowing of what happened to them. Unless you see it with your own eyes no one can ever be sure.

I have never heard of an animal being lost or dying on a plane to or from any country. I cannot speak highly enough of the quarantine kennels or people at Heathrow airport, if I had my way they could have stayed there for the 6 months. My animals arrive, they were feed, cleaned and groomed with fresh bedding but most importantly they were welcomed with soft words and kind hands.

The question is would you be able to live without your beloved pets or spend the rest of your life wondering what happened to them. I know what I would rather have.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Immigrating with pets…


While hunting for info for an immigrating couple, I realised that not many people know about the new rules applying to those couples wanting their pets to join them at their new home.

It is upsetting for both owners and those involved with rescue and rehoming to have to find new homes for once loved family pets.

When I post pets on Facebook for rehoming and the info involves the word immigration I receive a barrage of comments pertaining to the immigration laws – and “do you know?”.

Yes, I do know…

The issue here is that we need to educate people on all areas of a pets life.

So please guys and girls don’t give the networkers or re homers a hard time.

Rather repost some info to educate another pet owner.

Here’s what I found:

I emailed at least 10 companies in SA that transport pets to overseas locations.

About 4 replied by the end of yesterday.

Two of the companies were very helpful and gave me the following info.

From 1st January 2012, the rules for bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into the UK will change.

Until then, the existing rules continue to apply for pets coming into the UK,

see www.defra.gov.uk/pets

Approved non-EU countries – listed overleaf but please check
for latest details

Pets in quarantine
Pet owners with pets entering quarantine from 3 July 2011 to 31 December 2011 may be able to have their pet released from quarantine from 1 January 2012 and before the current 6 month quarantine period has elapsed, if they have prepared their pets to meet EU rules.
See Defra website for further information

Requirements for dogs & cats into United Kingdom

Requires a 3 to 4 month process here in South Africa.


Pets need to be microchiped and vaccinated against rabies at your local vet. You then have to wait a minimum of 30 days but no more than a year to do step 2 – rabies antibody Titre test.


The veterinary authorities are mainly concerned that the rabies vaccination is current. However it is important for your pet’s health that these vaccinations are given annually and it is advisable that these vaccinations be updated when necessary. In addition, should your pet require boarding before they travel all reputable kennels would insist that you produce a valid vaccination certificate.


A blood sample has to be taken by your local vet and sent to an EU-approved laboratory (Onderstepoort in Pretoria).

Once a positive rabies antibody titre test result is received (has to be equal to or more than 0.5IU/ml) the pet has to wait 3 months from the date that the blood was drawn before travelling.


The pets have to be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a private veterinarian certifying compliance with the above requirements and countersigned by the State Vet.

All pets must also be dewormed at the time of the completion of the Health Certificate. These treatments should be clearly stated on the Health Certificate.

This page may be of futher help.


Defra says you should ask yourself these questions if you would like to take your pet abroad.

PART A Entry to the UK from other EU Member States and
approved non-EU countries:

For your pet to enter the UK from these countries, you must answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:
• Is it microchipped?
• Is your pet currently vaccinated against rabies?
• Was it vaccinated after it was microchipped?
• Have you got an EU Pet Passport or Official Veterinary Health Certificate from your vet certifying the microchip and vaccination?
• Have 21 days passed since it was vaccinated?
• Are you travelling into the UK with your pet on an approved route?**

PART B Entry to the UK from non-approved countries:
For your pet to enter the UK from these countries, you must answer ‘yes’ to the following steps:
• Is it microchipped?
• Is your pet currently vaccinated against rabies?
• Was it vaccinated after being microchipped?
• Was a blood sample for a blood test taken at least 30 days after
it was vaccinated?
• Has it passed the blood test? (your vet will tell you)
• Have you got an EU Pet Passport* or Official Veterinary Health Certificate from
our vet certifying the microchip, vaccination and blood test result?
• Have three months passed since the date the blood sample was taken?
• Are you travelling into the UK with your pet on an approved route?**

If you have a personal account of moving abroad with your pets, please email me on stuffdidoodles@gmail.com i would like to post YOUR story so that we have a personal account of the above steps.

have a super day.


Wednesday, 09 November 2011



As you all know I have been struggling along to get donations for my DDAS blog birthday drive.

Today a very kind friend decided to donate a R500 Freshly Juiced hamper to raffle off, so we can raise some funds for the shelters close to the heart of DDAS.

If you would like to win this hamper tickets cost R50.

Because of the new raffle our birthday drive will be extended to the 30th November.

I will do the draw on 1 December and notify the winner of the hamper and the winner of the SAiNTs Calendar.

Email me on stuffdidoodles@gmail.com if you would like to buy a ticket.

Here is a little more info on Freshly Juiced as well as their contact details, website and facebook page if you would like some more info regarding their products.

“Their products are absolutely amazing! They feel good on your skin and smell absolutely delicious. I had products with pomegranate in. Such nice products. Very happy with them” ~ jacqui

Lux Body Butter


Freshly Juiced is a ladies luxury body care range with a very strong Eco focus.

Our website is www.freshlyjuiced.co.za where we take the customer on a journey of learning to read the label of their products and not just look at the fancy logo! 

Of course we also run promotions from our www.facebook.com/Freshlyjuiced fan page (with approximately 780 fans currently).

We are against animal testing, use biodegradable ingredients wherever possible (such as in our scrubs), actively encourage recycling of the packaging, and use high quality natural ingredients in all our products. 

Where we have had to use synthetic ingredients, we have ensured they comply with EU safety standards and that they are derived 100% from plant material (NO ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS like so many other skin care products).

We can sponsor a R500 Freshly Juiced product hamper – including our Exfoliating Salt Body Scrub, Luxury Body Butter, Hand Cream and lots of other goodies! 

Kind regards

Julie Gouws

079 898 2845 | julie@juciskincare.co.zatel

: (011) 513 4046 | fax: (086) 608 4490

Postnet Suite 1, Private bag X75, Bryanston, 2021

Monday, 07 November 2011

Got my penthouse Pets calendar


I was so excited today when I saw the notice in my Post Box to collect My SAiNTs Calendars.

I ripped open the envelope to find the beautifully photographed and printed calendar.

I am thrilled.

One of the lucky Ladies or Gentlemen, who donate to my Blog’s Birthday Drive wins one of these calendars.

For those of you who don’t know the history of this type of calendar – here’s a little info…


1a1acalendaCalendar Girls is a 2003 comedy film directed by Nigel Cole. Produced by Buena Vista International and Touchstone Pictures, it features a screenplay by Tim Firth and Juliette Towhidi based on a true story of a group of Yorkshire women who produced a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia Research under the auspices of the Women's Institutes in April 1999. (from Wikipedia)


The SAiNTs Calendar is also tastefully done with the same idea of giving behind it. Proceeds from the sale of this calendar will benefit, Barking Mad, CLAW, 4Paws, Co-operative Cat shelter, AARF and Cat-a-Holics.

I chose AARF to benefit when I purchased DDAS’s and my calendars.

saints calendar


If you’d like to win this copy email me on stuffdidoodles@gmail.com for more details, and make a donation to the birthday drive.

I would LOVE to raise at least R5000 yes it increased over night as I’ve added a Transkei Animal Outreach PE to the list of charities I would like to donate to.

The list is as follows: Second Chance Sanctuary, Happy Yappers, AARF, PETS CT, and Animal Outreaches Transkei Rescue PE.

Even if you can donate as much as R100 to our drive it will help us reach our target.

I understand that not all of my friends are animal lovers, and some are but cant donate. Please instead of tearing me down for trying to support animal charities rather share this post and rally some support.

Yes one incredibly bitchy creation gave me a mouth full last week for doing what I do. The ladies and Gents who tirelessly find homes for the voiceless understand this, I know.
We have ALL had our time with at least one of these heartless people.

Please hit share on your social networking sites or mail to your friends and contacts.

Please do support the SAiNTs team too. This Calendar will make awesome Christmas gifts for clients or family members. AND it goes 2 ways because you’ll be giving a gift to the animals. Email vivsaints@live.com to order your copy.

Thursday, 03 November 2011



I’ve had a terrible week and I  am sure a lot of you have too. Here is a story to brighten your week.



From: Leighton
Sent: 14 December 2009 05:08 PM
To: Valerie and Derek

Hi all

Please email URGENTLY as Mia went missing last Friday after the pool cleaners left =he gate open.

Mia is sorely missed and her companion is pining for her.

She is very wolf in nature and could be in hiding....

Kindly pass on to all in your address book and anyone in the Scottburgh/Umkomaas area.

Thanks so much.


----- Original Message -----

From: Ivan Down

To: 'Leighton'

Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 2:17 PM

Subject: FW: Emailing: poster Mia


Hi Lyn

Please find picture of our dog as Discussed.



From: Valerie and Derek
Sent: 02 November 2011 01:53 PM
To: Valerie and Derek

"Mama Mia" Mia is back
Wolf Dog is reunited with us her family after disappearing 22 months ago.
Mia was one years old when we were having work done on our pool, and due to having wolf in her she is very pack orientated and very skitterish. Our side gate as well as our front gate was open and before we could secure her she bolted. We, as her family were heartbroken; we searched intensely for her for a long time using every possible method we could. Wolf dogs are amazing animals but are not for everyone.

We would get phone calls from people saying she had been spotted and we would go to where ever she had been seen, but nothing as time passed. We buried her in our hearts and moved on, that is until last Friday the 27th October. In the mail was a “adopt a stray” and the picture was of her. My son who had come home for the weekend picked the paper up and when he saw the photo just knew and was absolutely convinced it was her.

He phoned the number and this dog, a female was at the local vets she had been there for eight days, she had been caught in Umzinto. A very kind man had been feeding her over his fence for weeks but he could not let her into his yard as his dog would not accept it. It was already 6 pm and the ladies were closing up so we had to wait till Saturday morning, the excitement was building at the unbelievable thought that this is, or could be her.

Bright and early Saturday morning my hubby and I rushed to the vet Dr Budgie, and he took us through to the back. I took one look at her as she lay right at the back of the kennel and knew. We bent down and we started talking to her and her eyes started to register, she got up slowly slinking her way to us, we reached in through the fence and started touching her, her tail started to wag and she licked our hands, I was just crying and my heart was soaring, I could hardly see her through all the tears of complete disbelief that after nearly 2 years, here she was in front of my eyes.

Budgie let her out and she started jumping and whining and just displaying so much joy, I had the lead on her and could not get her out of there fast enough.
A lady who works at the vet told me that she showed no emotion towards anybody there even when they gave her treats and tried to be friendly towards her.
My other wolf dog at home a big male heard the car and was waiting as he usually does, and when we brought her out she just ran to him for at least a 10 minute chaotic display of barking, whining, running , jumping and licking reunion that took place between them and us in the middle. Once that was over she ran into the house, knew exactly where the water was, made a bee line for my bedroom and jumped onto my bed like she always had done in the past, and it is just so completely unbelievable, a true miracle that Mia is well and in one piece, and towards us displays the same crazy personality as if it was like she never had left.

We would like to say a big thank you to all those who showed kindness to Mia in the 22 months she was away, and thank you God for protecting her and guiding her back to us. To my son Dodge for being so totally convinced it was Mia, thank you!

Now that I have you all in tears with me go and look at this vid…

This may just be an example of what Valerie felt…

Where there's help - there's  a way

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