Overberg Raptor and Owl Sanctuary is a non-profit organization run by Dr Liesel Trollope. Liesel is a highly skilled veterinary surgeon with an intensive knowledge of birds of prey and is a member of the Cape Falconry Club, carrying all the required permits. Specialising in raptors and owls, the Sanctuary’s main purpose is to rehabilitate injured birds until such time that they are ready to be released back into the wild. Birds which have severe disabilities and are unable to get back into the air spend their days contentedly in the protected and caring environment of the Sanctuary.
Click on ‘More Info’ below to find out more about Overberg Raptor and Owl Sanctuary.
Dr Liesel’s love for birds of prey dates back to 2005 when she was practising as a vet in Tulbagh. Elise Kemp (‘the owl lady of the Western Cape’) would bring owls to Liesel that had been poisoned or knocked down. By 2015 that service morphed into The Owl Sanctuary and it was an owl named Roger who inspired Liesel to continue with this service. Deemed blind, Liesel never gave up on him and he still lives a contented life with her. A one legged owl named Rachel soon joined the Trollope roost and this was the start of the present day Overberg Raptor and Owl Sanctuary.
Due to the nature of the injuries to the raptors and owls, the sanctuary is not open to the public and minimal interaction with humans occurs during the rehabilitation process, reducing any undue stress to the birds.
The worst case scenario for any animal lover is coming across an animal in distress. How you handle the situation is crucial and after assessing the situation quick decisions need to be made in order for the animal to have a chance at survival. Birds of prey often get knocked down by cars or they fly into overhead power-lines after which they lay on the road in shock which is often mistaken for death.
If you find an injured owl or raptor, lightly cover their faces to lower stress levels. Move them to a dark, cool space if possible and contact Liesel immediately for further instructions. A point to remember is that owls are fairly manageable when hurt, but care should be taken in avoiding unwanted contact with the talons of raptors which can become quite tempramental when stressed.
It takes R500 per month to take care of one bird at the Overberg Raptor and Owl Sanctuary, and as such, the Sanctuary is heavily reliant on donations for its survival. For as little as R20 per day you can help Doc Liesel and the Overberg Raptor and Owl Sanctuary rehabilitate these majestic birds of prey. Donations of shade cloth are also always welcome.