FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is a facility which is permitted by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate and release indigenous reptiles, mammals and birds. The National Council of SPCA’s have internally accredited FreeMe (Gauteng) and they send indigenous wild animals to us for rehabilitation. We have a good working relationship with both of these authorities and are regularly inspected by them as well as assisting with cases, captures and advice. In order to practice the responsible rehabilitation of wildlife, our aim is to balance the welfare of our cases with scientific research and good conservation protocols.
Given the fact that we deal with wildlife that has been snared, kept illegally as pets, poisoned, hit by cars, caught by dogs, stoned by people and used for traditional medicine, there is a percentage of cases that are so badly damaged or injured that our veterinarians make the decision to humanely euthanase them. This week, a rumour surfaced on social media, that FreeMe had euthanased 42 tortoises. The fact is that in the period between January 2012 and May 2014 we admitted a total of 574 tortoises. Over this period, 25 tortoises were euthanased upon admittance due to non-viable injuries or disease. Another 8 tortoises died at FreeMe while under treatment for various conditions such as emaciation, poisoning and malnutrition which they were admitted with.
This data clearly illustrates that the accusation currently circulating the social media is unfounded and untrue. We have an open door policy and always answer queries and questions from the public. FreeMe’s contact number is 011 807 6993 during office hours.