Africa’s largest birdpark situated in Hout Bay,is battling to make ends meet. The World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park  lost more than 500 birds due to the avian influenza.

Coupled with a downturn in visitor numbers and ever increasing operation costs, it is now selling off a portion of the its land to stay afloat.

The park is home to 350 species of birds and small animals.Bird flu broke out in September. Waterbirds were hard hit as it is near to impossible to prevent wild birds that carry the flu from entering the park and this made operation costs soar.

As ongoing testing is done and disinfectants are sprayed no birds are currently sick but the park remains under quarantine.

There are fears that the park won’t make it through winter.

“We’re looking at roughly a quarter of the park, it’s a part of the park that is not open to the public but still housing animals that go through rehabilitation on the property or need sanctuary behind the scenes but unfortunately we would have to part with that to get the revenue that we need.”

The park houses a number of endangered indigenous species. Like the Ground Hornbill that is part of a breeding programme.

Many interactive cages, some with small monkeys, are a crowd pleaser. Among the nearly 4-thousand strong inhabitants are also beautiful exotic species.

One of the only spaces that provide city dwellers an up close and personal look at nature,

It is hoped that visitors will return in their numbers and support the sanctuary as it’s the only way to keep its doors open.

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