Small Animal Encounters!
July 13, 2011
I finished my hunt at Tollies in Port Elizabeth last week and went to visit some friends in Cape Town. I'm staying in Hout Bay which is only about 30 minutes outside of the city centre in Cape Town. Hout Bay is a nice little suburbfilled with young professionals and outdoor enthusiasts. We are right at the base of Table Mountain and the scenery is amazing! Even more amazing is that Hout Bay is the home of a bird sanctuary that takes in wounded or abandoned animals, not just birds. Sadly there is an epidemic of people mistaking wild animals for pets and then abandoning them when they get big enough to act like what they are... wild animals. This park then takes them in and gives them a safe home. We met a honey badger named Douglas that had been some one's house pet at one time and his feeder happened to be there to explain his story to us. I guess Douglas had gotten a bit rough as he got bigger so eventually he was dropped of at the sanctuary but he was so used to human contact that he had no interest in other honey badgers only in people. The man who feeds him is now his buddy and only he can go in the cage but he says he tries not to because when he does Douglas wraps his little arms and legs around the man's leg and wont let him leave. The man said he acts just like a two year old. In the wild honey badgers are one of the fiercer predators but poor Douglas doesn't know that, he just wants attention. He is just another sad reminder that wild animals should be left in the wild. On a brighter note there is another exhibit at the park where you can enter the squirrel monkey's cage and play with the monkeys! These monkeys were mostly captive bred within the park or found injured and rehabilitated. The enclosure is quite large and people can walk a circular patharound the outside of the area and interact with these friendly monkeys. There is a nice and big warning sign outside the enclosure stating "We Bite Hard, (all monkeys)" but this is more of a disclaimer for these monkeys because none of them seemed the least bit aggressive although I wouldn't have gone in the baboon cage if you paid me!