Founded in 1998 by Roxy Danckwerts in her own backyard in Zimbabwe, Wild is Life began as a small rescue effort for orphaned animals. Danckwerts, who grew up with a deep love for animals, had a childhood filled with horses, dogs, cats, and various other creatures. This love and respect for animals led her to start rescuing and rehabilitating small animals, which eventually grew into the sanctuary that it is today.
Over the last 22 years, Wild is Life has expanded significantly, and now includes two branches: The Wild is Life Trust and the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery (ZEN). The two work in tandem to rescue, rehabilitate, and re-wild orphaned animals. Their efforts have become particularly crucial in Zimbabwe, where illegal poaching remains rampant. The African Wildlife Foundation reports that Zimbabwe has seen a surge in ivory poaching over the past two decades, leading to a 36% reduction in the elephant population since 2000. This has resulted in a growing number of orphaned elephants, who are unable to survive without assistance.
Today, Wild is Life is home to a wide variety of wild animals, including penguins, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, monkeys, tortoises, and many more. In 2015, the sanctuary opened its doors to the public as a means of raising awareness and funds to cover the organization’s expenses.
The work done by Wild is Life is a testament to the dedication and love that Danckwerts and her team have for animals. Their efforts have undoubtedly saved countless lives and have provided a safe haven for orphaned animals to heal and thrive. As poaching continues to threaten wildlife in Zimbabwe, organizations like Wild is Life play a critical role in protecting and preserving these magnificent creatures for generations to come.