The past months have been very exciting and emotional. The 21st of May Lotta gave birth, which obviously made us all very happy. She gave birth to 4 little balls of fur which now 5 weeks later have already grown so much. They have even started eating meat now and are extremely playful, exploring the whole camp.
Lotta is being a wonderful mother as usual.
I am not sure if you remember but one year ago we found a dead hippo baby. This year we were lucky enough to find it alive and rescue it. We are not sure why the mother doesn’t look after her babies but she really didn’t care. As you know hippos are very territorial and won’t let anybody close to their baby. It was very nerve racking when we had to get the little one out of the middle of the dam while the parents were watching us. It seemed like the little one was stuck in the algae’s and the mother hadn’t shown any interest in it the whole day. After we had rescued the little one, that would have drowned, Lisa took it in and stayed with it day and night. Hippo babies are very affectionate.
Everything seemed to be going well but with wild animals you never know why the mother didn’t look after the small one, sometimes there is a very good reason. Lisa did the best she could but on day 3 the little one passed away. We think that it never got his mums milk and than there is nothing we can do. Colostrum is essential for babies of any kind to survive and unfortunately you only get it in the mother’s milk. The whole team was very devastated but we know that we did the best we could and hope that next time we can maybe do more and be better prepared.
I also had the pleasure of rescuing a little baboon baby that got separated from her mother and would have been shot. Little Lidie was 8 weeks old when she came to me and crawled into my heart. Unfortunately, we had to find another home for her because baboons need to be with baboons and can become aggressive once they grow up. After one week with us she is now in a baboon rehabilitation center in Limpopo where she can play with friends. She will slowly be introduced to a surrogate mother and later be able to join a troop. It was extremely hard for me to let her go, baboon babies are extremely human and very dependent so it’s obvious that you get attached very quickly but I know that she is in a good place now.
By Leah Brousse