Crocworld Conservation Centre hosts talk on the incredible Amur falcon rescue in KZN

This June, the popular monthly environmental talk at Crocworld Conservation Centre will feature a gripping tale of raptor rescue by FREEME KZN Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre representatives, Tammy Caine and Wade Whitehead, taking place on Saturday, 8 June from 9am to 10am.


Extreme climate conditions in KwaZulu-Natal brought with it hailstorms that affected the roosting areas of the migratory raptor – the Amur Falcon – in both Mooi River and Newcastle.  This prompted a dramatic rescue of almost 2000 Amur Falcons by members from FREEME KZN Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.


One of these Amur Falcons, known as ‘The Iron Lady’, survived being hit by both hail storms, which makes her story a remarkable one of survival against the odds. Beyond this, the Amur Falcon rescue was also one of the biggest single species rescue operations undertaken by one organisation in South Africa.


“We are really excited to announce this month’s talk ‘The Plight of the Iron Lady’ presented by the dynamic conservationists from FREEME KZN,” said Martin Rodrigues, Manager of Crocworld Conservation Centre. “The work done by the centre is making a huge difference to the lives of countless endangered species in the region, and the story of the Iron Lady is one that will truly resonate with the audience.”


FREEME KZN Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre – established in 2007 – cares for and rehabilitates injured and sick wildlife. The centre was started to address the growing need for a trauma and rehabilitation facility in the Midlands and operates 24/7.


The speakers of ‘The Plight of the Iron Lady’


–          Tammy Caine is FREEME KZN’s resident raptor specialist, as well as the organisation’s Projects and Programme’s Co-ordinator. She has been working with birds of prey since 2006, and is involved in captive management, training, research and rehabilitation. In the past six years she has become more involved in public education, and presents several talks and courses on various aspects of bird of prey conservation, as well as managing the Owl Box Project.


–          Wade Whitehead is FREEME KZN’s CEO, and has more than 20 years’ experience in the wildlife industry. He started his career managing conservation areas, and moved on to trail guiding, lodge management, game farm management and wildlife rehabilitation. He is an entrepreneur at heart, with a vision for building and developing small businesses and organisations to best practice standards. He took over as CEO at FREEME KZN three years ago and, under his management, has elevated the organisation to international standards.


Audiences will also be treated to an Early Bird Breakfast with coffee or tea – inclusive of the price of the talk – which will be supplied by the onsite restaurant, Fish Eagle Café. The cost of the tickets is R50 per person. For more information or to make a booking, contact the Morne van Zyl at the Fish Eagle Café on 083 658 7073 or email Alternatively, contact Martin Rodrigues on 078 484 1859 or Crocworld Conservation Centre on 039 976 1103.