A big thank you to Africa Geographic for featuring me as one of Africas unsung conservation heroes. Below is the article they wrote about me and Free to be Wild.
It’s truly been my privilege to help the animals that have come into my care and I hope to continue and grow the Sanctuary to help so many more in need. Our wildlife is our heritage and its needs protecting.
Baye Pigors – Founder of Free to be Wild, Zimbabwe
“What a ride it’s been,” says 24-year-old Baye Pigors about starting Zimbabwe’s Free To Be Wild – the only rescue, rehabilitation and release sanctuary for primates in the country.
Pigors’ love for animals was instilled in her at an early age, as her family had a menagerie of orphaned wildlife from as far back as she can remember. Then in 2013 Pigors started to care for a baboon for the first time. Baboons are considered by many to be pests, and babies are often left orphaned by farmers who kill the mothers in retaliation for crop raiding. She named the six-week-old orphan Umfazi, which means ‘female’ in the local language of isiNdebele, and she made a promise to her baboon baby to find it a place that would provide rehabilitation followed by release into the wild. However, in her search efforts, Pigors realised there was no such place, so her mission to start Free to be Wild began in earnest.
Armed with a passion, a promise to Umfazi, and funds from selling her car, Pigors started Free to Be Wild in 2014. Now she trains and oversees two members of staff in the feeding, cleaning, nursing and play stimulation of primate orphans in an effort to provide as natural an environment as possible in order to release them back into the wild when ready.
Although specialising in primates, Free To Be Wild, in collaboration with Zimbabwe’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife, has also rescued and released bushbabies, raptors, genets, hedgehogs, warthogs and small antelopes.
Pigors says: “Almost every person with whom I crossed paths told me that this would not be possible. However, against the odds I am where I am today, and I will continue to keep my promise to Umfazi and any other animal that comes into our care.”
You can read the full article here and see all the other amazing individuals making a big difference in wildlife and conservation.