Our adventures in 2021

Starting into a fresh new year, we thought it would be a good idea to share a few adventures with you from our previous year 2021.

2021 has been full of ups and downs. Like the rest of the world, we felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was not a year of standstill at the C.R.E.W. We had many moments where we felt grateful for the work we do – and for you, our supporters. While this is not an exhaustive list, below are some of the highlights of this past year.

Growing Zebra Herd

 As some of you may know, our rescued zebras are a key feature at Makao Farm – until they can be released, that is! 2021 saw the arrival of two new faces in the herd.

Date Rescued: 1st January 2021

Our year started in full swing! Kwanza, a beautiful zebra filly joined the herd at the C.R.E.W. after she was found alone and weak following a Maasai cattle herd. She is growing into a beautiful mare and we are very pleased with her progress.

Date Rescued: 29th March 2021

Paulo was found by a local Maasai herder one evening in Simanjiro. This helpless foal had been left behind by its herd in all the chaos. The kind herder took the foal in for warmth and protection along with the rest of the cattle and the authorities were called for help – and they called us! At the beginning he had a hard time as he was too weak to even walk, but he has recovered well and is growing into a happy, healthy stallion.

Growing Elephant Herd

Rescuing an elephant is truly special, and we are so lucky to have rescued four of these wonderful animals over the last few years – something that, because of cost, we could only do with your help. This year saw some more news on that front!

Date Rescued:18th April 2021

This little girl is the 5th and latest addition to the growing elephant herd at the C.R.E.W. Having lost her mother in maize fields one night and unable to find her again, Kiteto was brought to the team very weak and emaciated. After days of staying in the intensive care unit, this brave little girl fought through. Today, she has found her family with the rest of the herd at C.R.E.W and is thriving. As you can see from the picture, one of her favourite pastimes is to play in the mud!

Elephants receive milk from their mothers until they are three years old, so we replicate that at the C.R.E.W – we will not release them until they’ve had this vital time to develop with the nutrients they need. Because Kiteto is fitting in so well with the existing herd, and the five of them have formed a family, we have made the decision to keep all of them on site until Kiteto reaches the right age to be released, so that they have each other if they are not able to join another herd in the wild. We will update you with more news of the elephants and how they are getting on over the coming year! With each elephant costing a high amount of money to look after each year, we really couldn’t do this without your support, and are truly grateful for that.

Animal Releases

The main aim when rescuing  any injured animal is rehabilitation – we do what we can to enable each one to thrive in the wild. Once they seem ready to flourish and fulfil all the requirements to successfully fend for themselves, they will be released back into nature where they belong.

2021 saw a handful of animal releases which left our hearts full of happiness. Below is the most outstanding release rescue, rehab and release story of this year:

Tom and Jerry
Date Rescued: February 2020

Tom and Jerry, two baby serval cats, were typical victims of human-wildlife conflict. Farmers had been clearing land for a new agricultural field and while slashing the grass, they removed the kittens’ cover and stumbled across two blind and immobile babies, just a few days old. Kilimanjaro Animal CREW was called to rescue the kittens – one male, one female – and we named them Tom and Jerry.

Tom and Jerry went from strength to strength and grew up into beautiful serval cats, slowly acquiring all the abilities and knowledge to be introduced into the wild. They successfully passed a ‘soft release’ period with extended walks, and they both started hunting. In June 2021, the gate of their pre-release enclosure opened forever, for release on Makoa-Farm. Initially we kept a close eye on them and as expected, given serval cats are solitary animals, within a few days they split up to continue their own life. Occasional sightings made it difficult to determine if it was one of the released cats, or of the wild serval population inhabiting the farm.

Months later, Jerry, the female serval, got caught by a random camera trap, and we found a little surprise. Hidden behind Jerry stood a shy and timid baby serval! Jerry had become a mother! We were excited to watch the footage, showing her adorable baby. Moments like these warm our heart…

Truly a successful release!


Expansion: East Africa’s First Wildlife Clinic!

Thanks to a very generous donor, we have started building a wildlife clinic which aims to provide the best treatment for animals of all sizes. With a size of 750m2, this new clinic will be the first of its kind in East Africa! The clinic should be ready within the next few months and it’s safe to say we cannot wait to see it – we promise to update you all when it’s up and running.

Bush School and Educational Tours

Our bush school is stronger than ever with a steady number of children ready to take on the world as empathetic conservationists! Every year through the educational tours we teach school children of all ages about the importance of conservation, to enable them to learn empathy towards animals and nature. Every year we host about 2500 children and we aim to double this number in the coming years. We firmly believe each child should be taught about the importance of protecting wild animals and their environment so that wildlife has a chance in the future. A big part of our work here is about working with the local people, understanding their beliefs about animals and nature, and encouraging them to live alongside nature rather than in conflict with it.

So that’s it for 2021! But 2022 started just like 2021 – with a new rescue…more about that coming soon!
Again, a huge thank you to those of you who have made our vital work possible with your donations and support.

Wishing you all a very happy new year, and success in 2022, in whatever form that might be.


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