Ongoing Search and Rescue Operations Amidst Simon’s Town Fire Crisis

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⚠️ ATTENTION: 😢 The upcoming update and images could be distressing for sensitive readers.

Please continue to support our efforts, our work doesn’t stop when the fire goes out.

Ongoing contributions towards our search and rescue efforts, which will span several days, would be appreciated. At this time of year, the SPCA already faces significant challenges with high volumes of animal admissions, and our resources are already very thinly stretched.

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The Cape of Good Hope SPCA‘s search and rescue efforts in Simon’s Town

Firefighting ground efforts continued over the weekend with crews monitoring hot spot areas for flare-ups. SPCA’s search and rescue teams remain on high alert to respond to any further incidents of fire but have withdrawn our search and rescue efforts for now. We’re in close collaboration with the authorities who will call on us should the need arise.

Fortunately, we have had more survivors and we’ve been able to treat several wild animals suffering from dehydration directly in the field. Others have been found severely injured with no hope of recovery and have had to be rushed to the closest veterinary practice for humane euthanasia. We have been able to admit some patients to our short-term care wildlife facility for treatment and we hope to be able to release them again very soon. 

We salute the efforts of the firefighters from the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue and thank them for keeping us and the communities safe during the devastating fires. Much respect for everyone at the fire line to the end. 

SPCA search and rescue efforts worked in close collaboration with the Joint Operation Centre (JOC) stationed at the Simon’s Town Fire Station.

Updates on rescued animals

This brave tortoise, appropriately nicknamed, Ember, was found with burn wounds on his poor head. He is recovering at our wildlife short-term care facility at the moment. We will be able to return him to his home range as early as next week ❤

This little one pulled through bravely. He was severely dehydrated and lethargic at the time of rescue but a bit of water worked its magic and he’s already been released in a safe environment.

Concerns raised about food for baboons: Baboons are highly resourceful and will find their way to food. Feeding is not only illegal but may also retain them in the area which is currently prone to flare-ups. Water can be put down, but please don’t supply any food, it’s not only illegal it’s placing them at risk of harm in many ways.

Some are not so lucky!

It is heartbreaking for our team to see the lifeless bodies of animals that didn’t make it. It is a huge loss for this unique habitat and our search and rescue efforts continue with urgency to find any surviving or injured animals. We won’t give up until we’re sure that no animal in need of help has been left behind. 

We also extend our sympathies to the Scarborough community for the loss of Pat, a beloved tortoise who was an institution in the area. She was found alive but severely burned and beyond recovery and we had no other choice than to humanely end her suffering.

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