The story of Pumbaa Wildlife Park – a year and counting.
Pumbaa, an abandoned warthog rescued in 2017, is the star of Pumbaa Wildlife Park – a symbol of what is possible with human intervention.
Park owners Hennie and Melanie Maritz agree that the best place for animals is in the wild. But what about wild and neglected animals born in captivity?
“We do not reproduce. We are not a rehabilitation center – we do not allow human contact. This is a place that will provide for any animal in need. A place strictly designed, managed and audited according to the guidelines established by Nature Conservation and all relevant government organizations. The park provides opportunities to raise awareness of the importance of nature and wild animals among young people, school children and the public. This exhibition is, for many young people, the first, closest and best nature experience they will ever have. They cannot touch, but they can see, smell and hear animals up close. We do not allow unguided access, and all of our guides are FGASA qualified and dedicated to animal welfare,” Melanie said.
Stories of how the team – with the help of a veterinarian – spend many nights and hours caring for sick animals in need, brought from other facilities or captured situations, exemplify the authenticity beyond the economy of a park like this. Their commitment is a real affective involvement.
“This park is both a recreational and educational facility. It contributes to the promotion of the Lowveld while raising awareness of our human responsibility towards nature and animals. We have added accommodation facilities with a restaurant which is well catered for by local and international visitors.
“Steve Irwin said, ‘The message is simple: we need to love and conserve our wildlife.’
“We agree with Theodore Roosevelt, who said, ‘Wildlife and its habitat cannot speak, therefore we must and we will.'”
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