Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blaze kills conservationist and three baboons at South African animal rescue centre

An horrific blaze has destroyed a baboon rescue centre killing a renowned conservationist as well as three animals.

Rita Miljo, who reintroduced packs of baboons into the wilds of South Africa, died in the fire which destroyed much of the headquarters of the sanctuary she built, an official said.

Karl Pierce, a director with the sanctuary said the 81-year-old died in the small apartment she kept above the clinic of the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education in the bush of Limpopo province.

Also killed in the fire were three baboons including Bobby, the first chacma baboon she rescued and nursed back to health in 1980 after spiriting her away from a national park without a permit, Mr Pierce said.

The fire broke out around 8pm yesterday after volunteers and workers left the centre for the evening, he added.

No one else was injured in the blaze, which consumed the clinic, offices and a house on the property, about 250 miles north east of Johannesburg. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Read More