Abrie Pretorius, wildlife manager at Sardinia Bay Golf and Wildlife Estate in Port Elizabeth, will monitor the wildlife closely as calving season approaches. Photo: Full Stop Communication
Early evenings at Sardinia Bay Golf and Wildlife Estate are a tranquil affair with game wandering across the golf course, bathed in golden light, and the constant trill of bird calls in the background.
Residents – camped out on their patios or ambling through the estate in search of the majestic eland or dainty springbok – complete the picture.
Wildlife manager Abrie Pretorius, who has been overseeing this picture for the past year, said these were the elements that added great value to the Port Elizabeth estate.
And more was to come, he said, as calving season was around the corner.
“This has been our first real breeding season and we can probably expect the first babies in December,” he guesstimated.
According to Pretorius, the area was perfect for game because of the extent of the vegetation and he said species such as bushbuck and eland occurred naturally.
He said there were currently about four young springboks on the estate and at least one expected to make its arrival very soon. In addition, he confirmed that one of the zebras was pregnant.
“We have about 10 springboks currently, but I’d really like to build this up to about 20 in time.”
The long-term goal, he explained, was for the estate to have a variety of animals and good quantity of everything.
The Sardinia Bay estate currently boasts three species of springbok, including typical, copper and black.
Although Pretorius, along with the help of staff and residents, closely monitored the wildlife, he explained there was minimal human interference.
“All we do is provide some supplement feed and help if there are problems like injury or sickness.”
Earlier this year, residents Jane and Don Robertson were involved in nurturing a two-month-old springbok back to health after it was injured.
Pretorius said the residents played an important role in monitoring the game and, in essence, were his eyes on the ground – along with strategically placed cameras.
“Between myself and the guys I have helping me, we see the animals every day. But the residents also have a big role to play with their feedback.”
The 41-year-old said he started his wildlife business, FK Boerdery, 10 years ago and it allowed him to work in a field he was passionate about.
“Doing this is what I love. I grew up on a farm is it’s great to still be involved in game.”