A fox among the wolves


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January 31st 2014
Published: February 10th 2014
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What is it with the weather and Bush Babes outreaches? Waking up to the sound of rain in the middle of Thursday night reminded me of our last visit to the wolf sanctuary. Heavy rains, sorely needed by the Free State farmers after a long dry spell.







This time seemed to be exactly the same, but there's no excuse when it's raining. The forecast was heavy rain for at least a week. We had already postponed this visit to the Husky Romi Rescue & Wolf sanctuary and couldn't put it off any longer. So we had to just suck it up, don our wellies and put on some lipstick, grab our spades and picks and hit the road. Besides a little bit of mud and rain never put off the Bush Babes and we were given large donations of dog food which had to be delivered along with all the other donations. We were also geared up for building another enclosure for the wolves. Isuzu delivered once again by sponsoring the vehicles with fuel and our trusty guide, Marius was going to lead the pack once again. Arriving at Gerotek, driving through heavy rain, we thought this was a taste of what the rest of the drive down to Reitz was going to be like. Low lying roads were flooded, sand and stones washed over the roads and visibility in places was not the greatest.







10 vehicles plus a caravan in tow, encumbered with about a ton of dog food, cement, kennels and over R16 000 paid for building supplies and other necessary items, as well as our camping gear, we drove to Reitz. Most of the way we drove without rain, but the last sixty kilometres the heavens opened and there was a deluge. In retrospect, it happened at the right place as the roads weren't too busy and there was space for overtaking slower vehicles. Arriving at the show grounds in Reitz , we quickly had to off load the dog food to a place where it could stay dry and considering there was mud everywhere, we were fortunate to be able to 'camp' in the sheds where they have agricultural shows. Here and there we found some pigeon feathers and droppings because they used the shed for showcasing pigeons, but at least we were dry and sheltered and we could save our energy to build the enclosure the next day. The caravan was in aid of sleeping arrangements for our youngest Babe of 7 months - Smiley Babe - Leilani's daughter. This was a better setup for her compared to where we were sleeping.







Saturday morning we woke up, still cloudy, but at least no rain. This was actually good, because after the rain the soil would be softer and it wouldn't be so oppressively hot. Our convoy drove to the wolf sanctuary which is just outside Reitz and we were greeted by the wolves running around their enclosures. Larry introduced us to each of them, telling us their stories. Such heart rendering stories: one was saved from being hunted down for a trophy, another was an unwanted Christmas present, and so the stories continued. One of the wolves had dug a hole under the fence – he just enjoyed walking around during the day, but always returned to his enclosure to eat and sleep and there just didn’t seem to be a way to contain him. Young little cubs are always a good draw card and of course there were many that crept deeply into our hearts while we cuddled them. Another one that crept into our hearts was one that loves lying in a puddle of water that has formed in one of the shelters. Apparently wolves are fond of water and they love to swim. This helps to eliminate ticks and fleas. When called, our swimmer wormed his way out through a small gap to show himself, thoroughly drenched.







After meeting our needy wolves we set to work. Digging a trench to level the ground so we could string and stretch the fence, more hole digging to put in a shelter, we managed to achieve what we set out to do with the help of Larry and his staff. After the hard work we could give our new furry friends some more attention by brushing them and spreading the love. I can honestly say I am proud to be a Bush Babe! Seeing them proudly working in their personalized black t-shirts, with their pet names printed on the sleeve, the Bush Babe logo on the front and the wolf sanctuary's logo on the back, we made a formidable group. We missed our other Babelicious friends that couldn't be there, but our new friends came to the party just as well as the other babes did at the last outreach. They slogged away, not a care about breaking a well manicured and varnished nail or smudging their make up. Well done, all Babes and Gonna be Babes! That leaves me to explain about our alter egos. Each babe is given a nickname, just for the fun of it and relating to something about them. Some of the names are Leisure, Explore, Ginger, Fun, Pinky, Jetski, Iron, Alien, Philly. I’m not going to disclose the secrets of any of the names – but the latest name we are using is ‘Gonna be Babe’ – that’s self explanatory, isn’t it!











My message to Reitz - if you ever need rain, just invite the Bush Babes and you can always add a task or two for us to do for good measure! And if you live in South Africa, you are a women (sorry guys!) of any age and you are just slightly adventurous and love the outdoors why not become a Bush Babe?


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11th February 2014

I didn't know there were wolves in South Africa...
we have a wolf sanctuary about 5 miles from us. That's great that you dedicate your time to this worthy cause.
11th February 2014

Not endemic to South Africa
Hi Bob and Linda, wolves aren't endemic to SA, they have been brought in over the years to cross breed by unscrupulous breeders. Many have been abandoned or set loose, which of course is not the right solution. Sad to see such loving animals mistreated or abandoned.
11th February 2014

The joys of animals
Looks like they are well cared for and a worthy cause.
12th February 2014

Joyous indeed
Larry who owns the sanctuary knows them all by name and there are 200 wolves, hybrids, malamutes and huskies and you can see how fond he is of all of them.

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