TEARS CAPE FIRE TIMELINE
A blaze breaks out on the mountain slopes of Ocean View in Cape Town’s southern peninsula, and stoked by NNW winds, moves in the direction of Da Gama Park towards Simon’s Town. Residents living in the military flats are evacuated for safety reasons. Firefighters are on scene battling the flames. TEARS Animal Rescue staff have set out to assess the threat to animals in area.
Following frantic calls from the public, we uplift from affected areas; two dogs, a coop of 30 pigeons and two tortoises. The first TEARS mobile clinic vehicle saves several dogs from the flames and heads back to HQ. Three additional TEARS’ teams stay in the field, fanning out in different directions to save as many animals from the blaze.
Low-flying helicopters do their best to douse the flames with sea water dropped from ‘bambi’ buckets.
The first wave of animals arrives at TEARS Animal Rescue HQ. Our crew and, at least these animals safe. Animals in our care are accessed and treated.
Our team begin to encounter buck racing away from the blaze. Not all are in the sort of shape to escape. The first Grysbok arrives back at TEARS for assessment before being taken to a wildlife veterinarian.
TEARS’ teams still in the field report that most areas in the Black Hill mountains are difficult to access but they were still able to get to reach certain animals. This includes a troop of baboons who had become dehydrated, exhausted and disorientated by their attempts to escape the billowing smoke.
News of the fire hits the airwaves and messages of good wishes begin to pour in to TEARS. We ask supporters to help the volunteer and professional firefighters battling the blaze by dropping off water, energy bars and eye drops at Fish Hoek Fire Station and Fish Hoek Civic Centre.
Bambi just rescued! TEARS ground crew continue their efforts for animals. While out with CapeNature staff, they see a tiny Grysbok staggering away from the blaze. They scoop up the small buck only to find that an umbilical cord is still attached to her. They scour the area for her mother but their attempts to find her are unsuccessful and the baby, named Bambi by TEARS’ staff will need expert care.
Latest in from Mandy Store who is leads the TEARS Animal Rescue effort to save animals from the Ocean View Fire is that our team are coming across a tragically large number of tortoises and snakes who have not survived as the fires continue to blaze in Simon’s Town and now Black Hill.
Slower animals who can not escape the racing flames include; tortoises, snakes, rabbits, lizards, insects, wildlife rodents and the young.
The sun goes down just before 7:50 but the exhausted TEARS Animal Rescue team keeps working to bring animals affected to safety. The many wishes from supporters on social media lift the team’s spirits as they continue their efforts through the night.
The tiny Grysbok, named Bambi, has been taken to wildlife specialist, Brett Glasby. This gutsy little girl, despite being separated from her mom at such a young age, takes to the bottle and makes it through the night under Brett’s expert care. Wishes of hope for Bambi’s survival pour in.
Searching for wounded animals...
The TEARS team set out to search for animals hurt the next morning. They begin their search near a water source – Kleinplaas Dam where they pick up a number of spoor.
Back at HQ, staff prepared to release and reunite with their guardians, animals saved from the fires the day before. After a comfortable night at TEARS HQ, the pigeons return to their coop while tortoises are released back into the Red Hill Reserve
We’re thrilled that the small Grysbok rescued from the Ocean View Fire by TEARS Animal Rescue and CapeNature – named Bambi by our staff – is doing well! She is in the care of Dr Cath Dallas and Dr Hamish Currie and is responding well to bottle feeding and expert care.
There is also good news from a CapeNature ranger who told us that she’s seen a number of healthy buck who had escaped the flames in the Black Hill area.
TEARS still needs funds to treat and rehabilitate animals affected by the Ocean View Fire. You can help by SMSing “Donate TEARS” to 40580 to donate R20. Please note that your donation will not go through unless you type the exact phrase “Donate TEARS”.
Or you can make a donation of your choice from the donate page on our website here: Donate Now