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Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

About
Free to be Wild

Free to be Wild was founded by Baye Pigors in January, 2014.

Growing up in Africa Baye always had a back yard full of orphaned wildlife. Animals of all descriptions have always been a big part of her life.

In 2013, Baye received her first orphaned baby baboon- who was promptly named “Umfazi”. At that stage the formation of the sanctuary was still a long way off, but Baye made Umfazi a promise – that promise was, that one day she would be returned to the wild and be given the chance to be a free baboon again.

That promise was the beginning of an incredible and heart warming journey.

Upon receiving Umfazi, Baye realised that there was no facility or organization in Zimbabwe that was geared towards the rehabilitation of primates with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild.

For the next several months Baye spent her time travelling and visiting sanctuaries throughout Southern Africa where she learned and researched rehabilitation methods for primates and other wild animals.

Upon her return, Free to be Wild was founded and programs for the rehabilitation and release of both monkeys and baboons were established.

For the love of a baboon… some promises are meant to be kept

African Proverb

If you want to go far…
….go together! 

Now, 4 years later, Free to be Wild has grown significantly and is involved with a wide spread program that is aimed at the release of not only primates but any wild animal in need.

We have successfully released many once-captive baboons and monkeys back into the wilderness of one of Zimbabwe’s largest and unspoiled National Parks. Our reach has been further expanded in the last couple months when Aimee and Alec joined our team and together we launched our Phase 2 release programme at a local bird and wildlife Sanctuary.

Here we have successfully been able to release servals, pangolins, owls and bush babies with many more soon to call the wild their home.  

The future is bright! 

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Primate
Rehabilitation

Our main focus does remain the protection and rehabilitation of Africas primates.

Unfortunately, in many areas in Zimbabwe, primates are often classed as “problem animals” due to their interaction with man and his crops!  This has resulted in the eradication of large numbers of them. These practices result in numerous cases of orphaned babies who, inevitably end up living out their lives in small cages.

The success rate of primate releases in Southern Africa – carried out by qualified operators – is an admirable 97%.

Free to be Wild are committed to maintaining this high rate of success here in Zimbabwe, with an ultimate goal of-

No primates remaining in captivity in the country.

Free to be Wild would not be possible without the hard work and dedication from their animal handlers/minders. Khumbulani Shumba is the headman at the Sanctuary and has been with them from the beginning, he has an exceptional way with each of the animals. The staff at Free to be Wild have been comprehensively trained in the care of wild animals and are constantly monitored by a trained wildlife nurse.  

These people all have an affinity with the animals in their care.  Their duties include;

  • feeding
  • cleaning
  • repair and maintenance
  • nursing and stimulation of/play with the orphans

They provide the environment and conditions so badly needed for the growth and development of the animals.

Free to be Wild Gallery