The Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary

30 12 2018

No animals are turned away from the Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary. Yesterday I rescued a battered malachite kingfisher from the garden. It was in its prime and beautiful but sadly was missing crucial primary wing feathers from a collision with our electric fence which is difficult to see (I didn’t photograph it – it went straight into a cardboard box to reduce the stress that so often proves fatal to small birds). Fortuitously we were already booked to go to the Twala Trust 40 km to the east of Harare so as it was still alive this morning we took it along. Colin the senior caretaker there greeted us and we passed the box over to him and he said they would do their best.

All manner of animals find refuge there; dogs, donkeys, horses, cats, birds and a variety of other animals. They do try and return animals to the wild where possible but some are hand reared and would not survive, others are permanently disabled and others have become too habituated to humans. It was an entertaining and fun visit and after a picnic we visited the kingfisher who’d already managed to eat (an excellent sing according to Colin) and made our way back to town.

This is a worthy charity for your support. You do need to book your visits. It’s a great educational opportunity for children with guided tours and there’s a swimming pool and reservoir to paddle around on. Take a picnic and enjoy the day.

VAWZ scruffs show 2016

12 06 2016

It’s that time of year when for just a morning we can forget all the nonsense of living in Zimbabwe, the impending disaster of the bond notes, the pantomime that is politics and just be normal. It’s the annual VAWZ, fundraising, scruffs dog show. All dogs are welcome, breeds and otherwise. There were demonstrations by the Harare Kennel Club including a nearly blind Labarador that insisted on completing the agility course. Tomorrow, well, that’s another day.

Scruffs dog show (by VAWZ)

14 06 2015

Amidst all the chaos that is the Zimbabwean economy we have normal dog shows. Or in this case a dog show for non-show dogs. Scruffs. Well, that requirement was not enforced so everyone had a great time and lots of prizes were given out all as a fund raiser for Veterinarians for Animal Welfare in Zimbabwe (VAWZ) who do an amazing job of getting out into the rural areas, mainly, to keep an eye on animal welfare and educate people in how to look after their animals.

Just a small selection of photos I took. Fancy dress, nicest eyes, waggiest tail etc…

The cats are out of the bag and breeding

22 01 2015


kitsiFirst there were 6 now they’re 4. Just like cats everywhere they breed. I saw the mother come through the nursery a couple of months ago and thought I would put up with her if she kept the rat population down. Then a couple of weeks ago Kari’s dog Max started and incessant barking and there were the kittens. Apparently Max wanted to play but the mother was having none of it and was not slow with showing her displeasure when I got too close.

This morning the mother brought back some sort of prey through the greenhouse and ate it under one of the seedling racks. I don’t think it was a rat, more like a lizard. I don’t keep a cat for this reason – because they kill just about anything though this cat did at least eat her prey.

The mother will have to be caught and sterilized. It should be an interesting exercise as she looks half wild. As to the kittens, who knows. Kari thinks she’ll take one but they are not exactly friendly. We’ll see. I grabbed this photo of these kittens sitting on the coir blocks where they spend most of the day.

Just the normal

29 06 2014

Once in a while it’s nice to report on the normal and eschew the title of this blog; Zimbabwe Absurdity. This Scruffs dog show was organised as a fund raiser by VAWZ – a local animal welfare organisation. It was well attended and full of fun with categories as “The dog with the waggiest tail” and of course “The dog the most like its handler” amongst others.

Zak the Incredible!

25 03 2013

Hey, I am Zak and new around here but as I am so cute I have a blog all to myself! Check it out, it is really upbeat, witty and clever and loaded with great photos of me!

Am I cute or what!

Am I cute or what!

The pole-yard dog

22 03 2013

There’s an old song by Jim Croce (long deceased) where a character is described as being “… meaner than a junkyard dog”. I have no idea why a junkyard dog should be mean as I have never come across one. Ella, or Erra as the Shona speakers pronounce the name, is no junkyard dog. She is old, very over-weight and very gentle and I would think a Lab x Rottweiler.  I have being going to the particular pole-yard where she lives on Harare Drive for quite a few years now and she sometimes comes to say hello, her tail wagging gently.

Ella has not been badly treated at all by Zimbabwean standards but there has not been a lot of love in her life. I watched on one visit as she walked up to someone her tail wagging expectantly but he didn’t even notice her and her head sagged, her tail dropped and she walked off dejectedly to lie in the sun. So when a couple of weeks back I noticed that she was covered in ticks I decided to do what I could and bought some spot-on Frontline® tick chemical and called in on my way out-of-town. I discovered that no-one actually owns Ella but the person who took responsibility for her was genuinely pleased that I’d gone to the trouble so I showed him the container and applied the contents to Ella. It emerged that she is only fed sadza (cooked maize meal) which would account for her large girth.  There was little more I could do except keep an eye on her.

I called in yesterday on business and she was sleeping by the building that serves as an office. I couldn’t see any ticks on her and she didn’t respond to my call so I left her dreaming her old dog dreams. As I got in the truck to drive off her “owner” reached down and gave her an unselfconscious pat. She didn’t move.

An old dog dreams

An old dog dreams