With the ever-increasing human population and resulting development, the demand for wildlife rehabilitation is growing exponentially. Indigenous wildlife throughout the world is coming under threat because of conflict with people in the race for space and resources to survive.
South Africa is no exception. Indigenous animals are injured and orphaned because of human activities at an ever-increasing rate. It is for this reason that centers such as FreeMe Wildlife exist. FreeMe Wildlife aims to rehabilitate these animals so that they may be released back into the wild in areas free from poaching and with reduced human activity (we strongly support Biodiversity Stewardship Program sites and active Conservancy sites).
FreeMe Wildlife operates within the structure of the “One Health” approach. “One Health” is the integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment. Together, the three make up the “One Health” triad, and the health of each is inextricably connected to the others in the triad.
We lead through the example of “Working together to enrich lives”.
FreeMe Wildlife was founded in 2007 by Adel Malan, who recognized the need for a wildlife trauma and rehabilitation center in the Kwazulu-Natal Midlands of South Africa. Local developer Rob Taylor sponsored the building of the FreeMe Wildlife clinic, which opened its doors on the 1st of January 2008.
FreeMe Wildlife was registered as a Section 21 Company (2007/010184/08) in 2007, was registered as a Non-Profit Organization (later changed to Non-Profit Company) on the 19th of February 2009 (NPC no: 066-704), and registered as a Public Benefit Organization on the 17th of May 2017 (PBO no: 930032928)
The facility is now one of the most well run and widely recognized wildlife rehabilitation centers in South Africa, has national and international connections, sees over 2000 patients admitted through its doors annually, and is involved in several wildlife research and reintroduction projects as well as community outreach and education programs.
The facility is a professional wildlife rehabilitation center that does not permit the taming, petting, or habituation of any of its patients undergoing treatment and care. It has a strong ‘hands-off’ approach that allows for the natural development of wild instincts and behaviors that are not in any way influenced by human interference. The facility does not allow any public viewing of wildlife and has a zero tolerance for unnecessary staff interactions with wildlife patients, as unnatural acceptance or dependence on humans only compromises the successful rehabilitation and integration process of wildlife back into wild populations.
To date it has undertaken the successful rehabilitation and release of individuals from 27 different Endangered, Threatened or Protected species in the province. It was also the center that undertook one of the largest single species rescues facilitated by a single organization in South Africa, when over 2000 Amur Falcons were successfully rescued, rehabilitated, and released following the destruction of their roost sites during two hailstorm events in 2019.
FreeMe Wildlife is working on species reintroduction programs in collaboration with stakeholders like the Wild Tomorrow (whose main aim it is to acquire land for wildlife conservation purposes) as well as local proclaimed Nature Reserves and Conservancies.
FreeMe Wildlife has a strong scientific ethos and is involved in research projects with individuals and institutions across the world, including some world firsts like The Tortoise Project (in collaboration with A Rocha South Africa and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife) which aims to set protocols in place, and change legislation, regarding the release of captive kept tortoise confiscated from the illegal pet trade
To be a world-class, self sustaining, leading rehabilitation facility for indigenous wildlife in Southern Africa, using the “One Health” approach.
To rehabilitate and release indigenous wildlife back into a natural habitat, whilst maintaining the highest ethical standards and furthering conservation by playing a role in engaging with wildlife professionals, volunteers, learners and members of the public by using the “One Health” approach.
• To inspire an engaging and educated empathy for our wildlife and the environment.
• To provide excellent first aid and stabilization facilities for compromised indigenous wildlife.
• To rescue, raise, rehabilitate and release cases back into a natural habitat, in consultation with stakeholders.
• To play a role in engaging with local communities, the public, learners and volunteers in the principles of conservation, preservation and international wildlife rehabilitation practices using the “One Health” approach.
• FreeMe Wildlife is a registered, fully permitted facility established to undertake the care and rehabilitation of sick and injured indigenous wildlife in the province of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
• It is registered with the Department of Environmental Affairs: D.E.A Registration: M92/5402160073089.
• It is permitted through Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to undertake the rescue and rehabilitation of all indigenous mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates including Threatened and Protected Species (Permits renewed annually)
• It is registered with the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) as a ‘Consulting Room’ pending ‘Clinic’ status. Registration no: CV19/16131.
• It is also endorsed by the National Council for the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA)
There would be no FreeMe Wildlife without public support, so please have a look at what you can do to help. As a Public Benefit Organization we can issue Section 18A Certificates for you to receive a tax rebate for your donation to a charitable cause