Project Rafiki Spotted Hyena
Focus: Animal care and Conservation.
Project Rafiki was started in 2015 after a 12 week old spotted hyena cub was rescued from the illegal pet trade by Frikkie and Numadi Botes.
As they raised the cub it was necessary for them to learn more about one of the most misunderstood wild animals that has a reputation of as being sly and cowardly, but is in fact fascinating with a remarkable social system.
Rafiki has grown into a beautiful young female and have just recently been accepted by SanWild where she will undergo a period of re-wilding during which time she will also be introduced to another young captive bred male in order to start a clan which will be returned to the wild in due course.
Early in 2016 the couple moved their attention to field work as they realised that very little research had been done on an animal also known as the laughing hyena. The public at large show little interest in spotted hyenas but these highly intelligent creatures are mercilessly killed by trophy hunters; for which so-called damage causing permits are issued. Large numbers of spotted hyenas that have incredibly strong social bonds are also illegally killed by means of gin-traps and poisoning; or are simply shot by individuals that regard the animals as a threat to their livestock and game animals.
Although spotted hyenas (Crocuta Crocuta) are listed as “lower-risk” by the IUCN, they are categorised as Conservation Dependant – meaning that without active and successful conservation programs the species would be most likely eligible to be upgraded to a threatened status within five years.
Project Rafiki will concentrate on researching spotted hyena on privately owned land and reserves. With the necessary research at hand Project Rafiki can and will approach land and reserve owners to educate them about the role spotted hyenas play in bio-diversity conservation. Where attempts to educate fail, they will work towards securing permission from landowners and the relevant conservation departments to trap and relocate entire clans to the safety of other wildlife reserves that would like to introduce spotted hyenas.
Project Rafiki will also be working closely with SanWild to rescue, treat and release any spotted hyenas that are found to be injured or that have fallen victim to snaring or poaching.
This project is a new initiative and we will be very grateful for your financial support to assist the two researchers to get cracking on a desperately needed research project in the Blyde-Olifants Conservancy just outside Hoedspruit in Limpopo Province that will take approximately 2 months.
Costs & Benefits
Spotted Hyena conservation in the Wildlife Haven of South Africa. Hoedspruit is in the province of Limpopo. Volunteers will be involved in daily tasks such as husbandry of hyenas at the sanctuary, as well as maintenance and construction of new camps for the hyenas that are unable to be released back into the wild after rehabilitation, volunteer duties include daily husbandry of hyenas at the sanctuary including maintenance of camps and feeding of hyenas.
$350 per person per week, accommodation and 3 meals per day included.
Volunteers aged 18 years of age and over.
Project Rafiki Spotted Hyena Conservation
P O Box 433
Location:Hoedspruit, South Africa
Average cost per day:$50
Focus: Animal care and Conservation
Skills needed: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and English speaking, some French is preferred