If you have read my blog you know that I love animals as much, if not more than people. I definitely trust animals more than people.
This past January I was fortunate enough to spend the entire month volunteering at Bally Vaughn Animal Sanctuary located outside of Harare, Zimbabwe. I chose BV because of Sarah Carter (pictured above with Zimba, a baby Vervet who was rescued at 3 weeks when his mother was killed).
Before deciding where and how I was going to dedicate my time and money while doing this month of service I did a lot of research. I found Sarah and Bally Vaughn through the website http://www.volunteer4africa.org/. Every word that I read on her website resonated with me. The love, care and respect that Sarah and her team have for the animals truly aligned with my personal feelings.
Sarah is one of those amazingly self-less people that has dedicated her life to making sure that each and every animal she comes in contact with is given every opportunity to live, thrive, and flourish with dignity and respect.
There was not one day during the entire month I spent at BV working along side Sarah, Colin, Sasha, Mirka and others that I did not feel needed, wanted and fulfilled.
I definitely received more than I gave.
Although there were moments when the work was easy and fun (playing hide and seek with Meredith, the Meerkat or playing my iTunes and singing Beyoncé or Bruno Mars to Juno and Fluffy two of our recently rescued lions), there were other moments that were hard.
The day I found out that Daisy, the baby donkey with a compound fracture that we had rescued, didn’t make it. She used to lay her head in my lap and I would sing here lullaby’s while stroking her soft fur, willing her to live.
The morning we woke to find out that wild otters had broken into the geese enclosure killing several members of that family.
There were many days that were hard.
Such is the circle of life. I’ve always hated that expression. However, it was much easier to accept the circle of life than it was the simple ignorance of people and the way they treated their animals.
Going out on rescues with Sarah was difficult and rewarding. She explained to us that being angry or rather showing anger toward the locals did more harm than good. Rescues were not a time to scold but to educate. Education as we all know is the key to freedom and prosperity.
I found that I loved being part of that education process. I noticed that when spoken to with kindness and respect the locals would listen and really had a desire to do what was right. They just needed to know what “right” was.
After eight years running Bally Vaughn, Sarah Carter has finally been able to realize her dream of purchasing land and creating a new, improved sanctuary for the animals called Twala’s Trust. Unfortunately, Sarah has been stopped from moving the animals to their new home by the owners of land BV sits on. They are claiming that Sarah is “stealing” their “property”.
Property in this case being the animals. This is simply not true.
The day that the animals were ready to be moved, by ready I mean tranquilized and crated with love, careful planning and the animals best interest at heart. The owners of the land that BV sits on locked the front gates and barricaded entrance. They have since filed an injunction and have made ludicrous and untrue accusations. Unfortunately, as of this post the animals are still being held prisoner at BV.
That’s where you come in. I know we are a long way from Zimbabwe but it only takes one voice, one person, to raise awareness.
What is happening to Sarah Carter and the animals is criminal. The motive to keep them at BV is nothing more than money. Please take a moment to visit the Bally Vaughn website:
as well as the FB page for Twala’s Trust:
for the full details of what has been going on.
If you feel it’s appropriate then add your voice, write a blog, donate as little as $5.00 to help with the legal fees.
And… thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.