Animals rescued as floods threaten wildlife

Animals across the province were affected by floods, prompting various rescues. Picture: SPCA

Animals across the province were affected by floods, prompting various rescues. Picture: SPCA

Published Jun 24, 2023


According to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, almost half of its 251 cruelty investigations dealt with between June 1 and 19 were related to animal suffering as a direct result of the recent bad weather or exposure to it.

SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said their wildlife department has been responding to numerous calls about animals displaced by the rising water levels in most areas.

“We have responded to baby birds blown from their nests by the gale-force winds, exhausted Cape fur seals washed ashore by surging sea swells, and porcupines flooded out of their stormwater drain homes – Cape Town’s porcupines love living in our drains. We also responded to the case of a young male grysbok who found himself in deep water and needed our help,” said Abraham.

She said they also responded to a phone call from a farmer in Macassar who had seen this bokkie stuck in deep mud and injured.

Animals across the province were affected by floods, prompting various rescues. Picture: SPCA

“We wasted no time in getting our wellies on and going out to the farm, where we saw the small buck’s predicament – cold, wet, bogged down in clay-rich soil, and with a leg injury sustained trying to get through a wire fence as he fled the rising waters,” said Abraham.

SANParks has also confirmed that Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) was severely impacted by the floods in most areas of the park, including the park’s infrastructure and natural vegetation.

“We are grateful for the rain that is filling up dams. The natural vegetation thrives beautifully during the rainy season, but this year the park has been severely affected by the floods, causing a lot of infrastructure damage, especially to the hiking trails, and posing danger to park users due to landslides, road verge erosion, and sinkholes. The park is still conducting assessments on the extent of the damage and regularly updating the alerts to park users of the dangerous areas they need to avoid until further notice. The estimated damage to the infrastructure is still yet to be determined as there are new reports of infrastructure damage on a daily basis,” said TMNP manager Megan Taplin.

She said they urged the park users to exercise caution or avoid the mountain trails where slippery, wet, and muddy conditions persist, to avoid having accidents and requiring rescue.

Last week, Table Bay Nature Reserve staff saved more than 60 snakes from floods on the vlei that were escaping the rising waters.

Snake rescuer Davine Sansom also helped snakes and chameleons trapped in the flood at Rietvlei. In a Facebook post she said the task was a demanding.

“I took a good bite from the biggest skaapsteker. I had to leave him as my hands were filled with other reptiles. It was a very demanding task and the water was freezing. The water was so cold I lost all feeling in my feet and fell three times as I could not feel my feet. Going in and out of the water to put different species in the bins together was a major scary experience as the water is extremely rough and my feet got stuck in the mud twice that my son had to pull me out.”