From: Seal Alert-SA
Date: December 21, 2006
Dear All Cape Fur Seal Supporters,
Happy Holidays, Happy Christmas and the very Best New Year, Ever
Thank you to all that donated funds for the South African/Hout Bay Harbour Cape fur seal centre. I have been working my butt off and I am exhausted, but at the same time so happy, because at least the seals needing help are happy.
Out with the
old, in with the new. We have almost 1/4 of the centre 90%
complete and a working rehab for the babies. Sadly as you
know we lost one baby in the beauty without cruelty boat
parked outside my house whilst centre was being revamped.
Continual changes once all 10 moved into centre, took their
toll, and another two sadly passed away.
positive. My objective was to somehow get a group through
to full rehab in the next 12 long months. 4 have dipped and
go into convulsions frequently, 4 others appear strong.
Over the years I have hand-raised many different species of
babies, in fact, 4 baby pigeons were found in this building
and a seagull whose wing was broken. But, for some reason
baby Cape fur seals are another kettle of fish, so
difficult to succeed. I dont know if their deep bonds with
mom, or that they marine mammals, but boy is it difficult.
But I think I have found the key. Warmth is number one. Two
is regular feed (miss a four hourly and they die) and three
is seawater. I have long suspected that the acute
starvation cases (skin and bone appearance) is more related
to water retention loss than food. It is the drinking of
seawater that gives seals that nice rounded fat/blubbery
look, its not all about fat from the food.
So I have rigged up an awning to retain heat and are using three infra-red lights for warmth, and boy do they love it. All 8 are showing improvements and everything is looking much better. We are already 33 days into rehab.
The centre has
such an amazing ambiance, a real research type/homely
comfortable feeling about. I just love it. I have already
treated and released three weanling pups >from the
centre, and one pup released previously sort me out in the
new centre and is now resident. Mumkin has been coming for
his feed, and tonight he too decided to stay. Such an
amazing feeling have these wild animals come and go at
will. A week ago I was called to another rescue where I
found a pup floating upside down unconscious. It appeared
he suffered somesort of head trauma and was now completely
disabled. He could not walk, crawl, swim or even lift his
body. He was a 'vegetable'. Slowly I have nurtured him back
to life, and he has opened his eyes after two days and
regained movement in one flipper, things look good for a
full recovery. Mumkin, the weanling and the coma seal all
Building costs with two pools (instead of one initially) and now having to repair the walls and paint has pushed the centre costs to over R60 000 (USD 9000). If you all are in agreement, I have decided to name the one pool after Phil and Trix Wollen's Winsome Constance Kindness Trust and the other after Mrs Miller ( our two biggest donators). Eddy Jobse who came to the rescue immediately will have the disentanglement facility outside (when complete) named in his honour. To everyone else, between the two pools on a large board, each contributor will be proudly displayed. We still have the opportunity of funders naming our Kitchen, two offices, a mezzizine level, the outside seal haul-out fenced area.
To each and everyone of you, no matter how small your contribution, together you have given the seals (and me) the best gift I could ever have hoped for. We will save thousands of seal lives and the species. This I guarantee. I apologise for not yet answering emails, but my schedule is impossible, work, feed, work and more feed. Please excuse me over the next few critical weeks. Funding is almost dried up, so if you can spare, please.
Two local volunteers, Tara and Nikki, have been invaluable. Both taking time off work and physically rescuing seals and transporting them back to the centre. They together rescued have saved many seal lives. Besides this their fiancés/husband's jumped in with building/roofing and getting sponsors.
I am aiming to have the centre self-supporting by conducting exclusive guided tours (with access only onto the mezzanine level) to look down on the rehab. Big TV screens will show rescues in the wild etc.
Please know this. I simply cannot thank you all enough for the support over the years. The best way I can show my appreciation, is to save, save, save the seals. Slowly we will develop this centre into the best ever. Our boats, vehicles, rescue craft, jetski's and rafts will all sport corporate colours and logo. Seal Alert-SA will be seen and heard, and with this give the seals the awareness they deserve.
Have the best ever holidays, Christmas and New Year. I hope to show you the whole of the centre before year end.
You all have made me very happy, and this life-giving seal gift - is the best gift of all.
Have a great one.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
PS - If anyone would like special mention or an area named in honour, just shout.
From: Earle Bingley CVFA
Date: December , 2006
Cape Fur Seals - Merry Christmas
As I'm sure all of you know, Francois has recently required a building to house the rescued Cape Fur Seals.
Our problem now, is finding the funds to buy equipment and to finish the re-furbishing of the building.
I, and Francois, sincerely hope that you will remember the wee babies this Christmas season.
Donations can be made directly to Francois' bank account for a fee, or you can make your donations on any of the Seal Alert pages using Pay Pal at no charge to you.
On behalf of Francois and all the gang at Seal Alert in Africa, please accept our fondest best wishes.
Regards to all,
FRANCOIS' BANKING INFORMATION
To mail a donation directly to Seal Alert-SA:
HEREWITH IS FURTHER DETAILS FOR BANK TRANSFERS:
ZAR is South AfricanRand
More information to be able to send the money via Internet:
SEAL ALERT-SA ACC : 911 2201 321
BRANCH CODE : 632 005
SWIFT CODE : ABSAZAJJ
BANK : ABSA
SA NAT.CLEARING CODE
BIC: (SWIFT-CODE) ABSAZAJJ
Bank name : ABSA
Address : DELPHI ARCH OFFICE PARK, RAATS DRIVE, TABLE VIEW
City/code : TABLE VIEW, 7439
Country : South Africa
For the Seals
Francois Hugo - Seal Alert-SA