The history of SanWild focusses on the dream of a single person, Louise Joubert whose love for wild animals has been proved (and tested) over and over again.
Louise worked as an account executive for a major advertising agency in Cape Town when she conceptualised a fund-raising campaign for the Rhino & Elephant Foundation in South Africa in 1989. During National Rhino Pledge Day that focussed on the plight of the black rhino on southern Africa, a substantial amount of money was raised for black rhino conservation. Some of the money raised was used to purchase additional land for the Addo Elephant Park. Much needed equipment was also purchased for various counter poaching teams that concentrated on the protection of black rhinos in particular. The balance of the funds were used to relocate black rhinos from areas in which rhinos were increasingly targeted by poachers and also to return a number of black rhino to Africa to National Parks where the relocated rhinos could contribute to the survival of their species.
Louise’s brush with black rhinos prompted her to give up a lucrative career in advertising and saw her move to Limpopo Province to “work with wild animals”.
Initially she found herself working with a game capture and relocation company where she quickly realised the extent of the exploitation to which wild animals were subjected to as a result of the growing commercialisation of wildlife. It was the plight of especially the young un-weaned animals that got to her on an emotional level. Seeing the terrible injuries and experiencing the death of a number of animals during the game capture operations, Louise found herself in emotional turmoil. It was especially the trauma and fear suffered by the un-weaned young that caught up with her and she decided to take on the orphaned victims for hand raising.
As Louise worked against numerous odds to safe the traumatized youngsters, she become more and more empathetic to wild animals’ needs. The constant emotional stress of having to endure game capture after game capture and experiencing first hand the trauma and fear of relocated wildlife soon saw her quit the game relocation industry.
In 1998 Louise rented a piece of land with and option to purchase it after 5 years. Her main objective was to set up a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre and a safe sanctuary for rescued wild animals. In 2000 she formed the SanWild Wildlife Trust to ensure protection of the land and the animals that depended on the land for a safe home in perpetuity.
Today Louise is an outspoken critic of the South Africa wildlife and hunting industry and work actively to prevent the suffering and abuse of wild animals. She has put together a wildlife rescue team that is on standby for any wild animal emergency 24/7. All rescued wild animals are released into the safety of the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary.
Join her on Facebook