11 December 2018

South Africa: Nature Lovers Open Wallets to Help World of Birds After Robbery

Nature lovers from South Africa and abroad have opened their wallets to assist the World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park in Hout Bay in the wake of a robbery.

Since News24 published a story on Monday about the devastating robbery, a general crowdfunding campaign for the sanctuary's operational costs has seen a welcome boost of around R50 000.

The funding campaign, which has a target of R500 000, is currently sitting at a total of R210 000 in donations.

Even before the robbery, the 45-year-old park faced closure as the impact of the economic climate, an avian flu outbreak and the water crisis took its toll.

Owner Walter Mangold, 81, said the theft was a blow to the park's future plans.

He explained how two men overpowered him in his office on Sunday afternoon and made off with around R70 000 in takings for the weekend.

"Before I realised what was happening, they rushed at me, knocked me down with a chair, backwards on the floor, face down," he recalled.

"They were looking for my keys. I said: 'You don't have to hurt me, I will tell you.'"

Staff working reduced hours to lower costs

After they tied him up and ran off, he managed to call out for help and was freed by five international tourists.

"I have gone through a lot of things in my life. I can only be grateful that they didn't stab or shoot me... or knock me out."

People have expressed their support on social media and the campaign page.

One couple who donated money commented: "Good luck - may you recover quickly from this senseless attack, and hopefully financially as well."

The Sandy family stated: "We built many memories at World of Birds over the years bringing all our overseas friends and family. Thank you for all you do and so sorry to hear of the senseless act of violence against you. x".

The private sanctuary's 40 staff members care for 2 000 permanently injured birds and small mammals. They have been working reduced hours to reduce costs.

Provincial police are investigating the robbery and no arrests have yet been made.

Anyone who has information about the robbery can call Hout Bay police on 021 791 8660 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Source: News24

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