C.A.R.E. Animal Sanctuary

C.A.R.E www.primatecare.org.za – the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education – is an animal sanctuary that does extensive work educating the public and ensuring the safety of vulnerable primates, especially chacma baboons. Many visitors choose to work at the sanctuary as volunteers.  If you wish to do so, please contact C.A.R.E Animal Sanctuary   Tel: +27 (0) 15 769 6251   Email: care@lantic.net or info@primatecare.org.za.

How to get here:

C.A.R.E. animal sanctuary is located close to the town of Phalaborwa, along the Olifants River in Limpopo Province, and is easily accessible by car.


C.A.R.E. is the only facility in southern Africa that focuses on baboons in need.

The late Rita Miljo founded the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education (C.A.R.E) in 1989 as a rehabilitation centre for injured indigenous wildlife. The centre is located along the Olifants River in the Limpopo Province, very close to the world-famous Kruger National Park.

At the start Miljo mainly took care of small mammals, reptiles and birds, treating them and releasing them back into the wild. But the C.A.R.E. animal sanctuary quickly developed into a haven for injured and unwanted chacma baboons.

Miljo was trained as a zookeeper in Germany and was 81 years old when she passed away. It is said that the director of this South African animal shelter has always liked animals more than human beings, which is why she is widely known as ‘the baboon lady of Phalaborwa’.

Famous for her feisty manner and enormous dedication, Miljo’s work has attracted the interest of big broadcasters such as the Discovery Channel and the BBC, as well as universities in Germany and the Netherlands. Volunteers too can sign up for hands-on experience in rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured baboons.

Baboons are offered little or no protection from provincial and national conservation authorities in South Africa, which often regard them as problem animals. Habitat destruction and agricultural encroachment have resulted in reduced home ranges, and where crops or urban habitats are threatened, people sometimes revert to drastic measures to kill the animals.

Supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Miljo’s South African animal rescue initiative treats injured and orphaned primates and in 1994 C.A.R.E. was instrumental in the first successful release of hand-reared chacma baboons into the wild.

C.A.R.E has successfully released many baboons into protected area, and where necessary, cares for them on a long-term basis.

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