Imhoff Snake and Reptile Rehabilitation Centre in Kommetjie is relocating to the Cape Point Ostrich Farm in March 2019, and is requesting public donations to help it build a new home for its scaly residents.

The owners of the Imhoff Rehabilitation Centre, Tracy and Shan Bodington, have been independently running the sanctuary, which is home to a wide array of reptile species, from crocodiles to geckos, for 20 years.

Tracy told Cape Talk the organisation was prompted to move due to the economic turndown.

“..Its been a long long road … its been a very busy and eventful project that we have taken on, however I think with the economy and the venue in itself we have noticed … the running costs … have become so much more expensive and having been self-funded for over 20 years, we have realised as much as we like to continue it may not be possible,” she said.

Cape Point Ostrich Farm owners Catherina Bairnsfather and Alistar Cloete kindly offered a piece of land on their property after hearing of the potential closing of the Imhoff Snake and Reptile Rehabilitation Centre.

“Very kindly Catherina  and Alistar of the Cape Point Ostrich Farm said, “well, we have the property … you need to put together everything and there you go.’ So that’s where we are,” Tracy said.

The organisation hopes to raise a total of R300 000 needed to purchase cement, bark chips, heating pads, wood, and other essential items.

Plans are in place to create a new area for the three crocodiles and one alligator that are currently housed within the sanctuary.

Several other enclosures that need to be built will require the help of donations to ensure the safety and security of the animals.

Tracy explains that the organisation has become more than a sanctuary for several animals but also serves a shelter and rescue service.

“When there’s a great deal of fire around, we have animals that are brought in to deal and treat smoke inhalation.”

In addition, she said that people from all around Cape Town bring in injured and sick animals such as geckos, bull pythons and more. With a policy based on not turning anyone away, the sanctuary gives these animals a safe home.

The centre offers educational awareness programs for children and works with external organisations in the community, making it an integral part of the Cape community.

Tracy is pleading for public donations.

“Sean and I have been doing this on our own for 20 years and … have looked at everything and … we don’t personally have the funds to do this on our own. This is the first time in 20 years [that] we are … appealing to the public to please come on board.”

Possible sponsors or donators can help the centre by contacting [email protected] or 083 244 5194, or by visiting www.minimoshows.org.

Tracy Bodington

Picture: Imhoff snake and reptile rehabilitation centre/ Facebook

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.