We can say fully YES to this. Just for the many people who contact us regularly, how they can start a facility, how they can keep big or wild cats, if we want to sponsor meat for their cats?
Just for the ones, who will always be there, having a say…..here’s something to realize, and yes please do compare with all other “ethical” projects. And please think twice before starting with a facility, or with big/wild cats, as honestly after reading this? Do you love the cats as much as we do? Willing to sacrifice everything?
With our relatively small facility, which we intentionally have (with gratitude to) on other’s land/farms and not our own (if you see the expenses below, you will understand we don’t want to waste money on anything other than the cats and their welfare), we monthly have expenses, which we foremost pay from our own pockets, the owners working hard every day in honest jobs to make this possible.
The donations we receive, will, as you will understand now, solely used to give us a bit of a break every now and then. So….donations always welcome….Volunteers pay for their own accommodation (provided by us) and own expenses/stay; they don’t pay us, so no exploit there as where WCW is concerned! And no exploit of the animals…no Trade, so no income over their backs as for having them petted, selling cubs/kittens (the ones that leave, are donated to the wild or exchanged for fresh blood, if with a equal good project).
To start constructing decent enclosures/camps, like we have for the current cats, which give enough space to the cats to be happy and to thrive well, be active and even breed well (when allowed for higher purposes). Even though we at any time want more, and look for the best possibilities.
The start sum was over SAR 3 million (in a bad time as for rate of currency to euros) …..leopards being most expensive of all projects at the same place, as for the required construction by Officials. Remember: own pockets, apart from a few donations.
Then the cats do eat….a lot daily. Big cats mainly game meat, but also occasional treats like rabbits, or complete prey (even game) with skin….count on SAR 20400 each month, even with one day donated chicken included; nice for a treat but not the best food to give daily.
Small cats also eat game meat, but also need a diversity of other meat or prey: rabbits, birds, mice, rats, chicken or meat-parts (hearts, liver, chickennecks, drumsticks..) separately bought…we don’t breed them to feed them, so this gives also expenses of R 8100 monthly.
Then there’s monthly vetbills, wages of the caretaker, accommodation costs to give a home to the caretaker and volunteers, flights of the owners regularly checking up on the project and cats welfare, or to investigate better opportunities, car for transport caretaker/volunteers/owners, treat (meal) to caretaker or volunteers as a ‘thank you’…..
DO WE LOVE OUR CATS??? Yes and honestly is there someone who loves them as much as we do? And then not in words or in slandering people who try their utmost to do the best possible?
We love the cats enough to even let them go wild and free, as that is for some species our ultimate mission; that is ultimate ethical conservation!!!
All donations or sponsoring are welcome, but to start with everybody starting a project shouldn’t have to beg for money……start a facility and the best care of these animals, only if you can afford it….and if YOU are able to give them the best, are willing to give them the best, without having to constantly beg!
As for transparency: People in doubt to sponsor or donate, are welcome to invest directly (so e.g. by paying expenses straight to the meat deliver, vet or constructor themselves, receiving the invoice).
Remember at any time the FIVE FREEDOM’S in animal care, outlining five essential aspects of animal welfare under human control.
-Wild Cats World-
A Dutch foundation trying to survive and do what’s best for the cats in South Africa, and world-wide.