Anniversary celebrations at World of Birds

Chris Scutte from Astral Foods and Hendrik Louw from Hout Bay's World of Birds.

World of Birds in Hout Bay and Astral Foods recently celebrated one year of partnership after the poultry company came to the rescue when the bird sanctuary faced closure due to a lack of funds.

Last year, World of Birds experienced financial distress after 500 birds died of avian influenza. To make matters worse, later in November, robbers tied up owner Walter Mangold and fled with R70 000 (“World of Birds robbed”, Sentinel, December 14 2018).

The 2 000 permanently injured birds and small mammals that reside in the sanctuary are cared for by 40 staff.

Hendrik Louw, the assistant director at World of Birds, said he’ll never forget the day he received a call from Astral Foods secretary, Maryna Eloff.

“It was a Tuesday morning and I was very discouraged at that point. I received a call from someone at Astral. I did not know who Maryna was but she asked how soon I
could be in Joburg to meet them. I asked ‘What, how?’ She said: ‘We want to see how we can help you’.”

Mr Louw flew up the Thursday morning and at the end of the meeting, he had an agreement: Astral Foods would donate food to the value of R100 000 a month to help World of Birds with its bills.

Less than a year ago, the teams from Hout Bay’s World of Birds and Astral Foods had never met, let alone worked together. On Friday 8 March, they celebrated their new relationship like old friends.

“It is impossible to explain how much this is helping us
to keep World of Birds open and to continue doing the work we love, which is to help birds and animals in need, and to provide a home to those who are unable to fend for themselves in the wild,” said Mr Louw

Chris Schutte, chief executive officerof Astral Foods, explained: “The bird feed are provided by Meadow Feeds, one of Astral’s divisions, and County Fair is providing chicks for World of Birds’ meat-eating birds. Many people don’t know it, and we didn’t either, but World of Birds uses up to a tonne of chicken every week.”

At the event held at the Riverside Boutique Hotel, Mr Schutte celebrated with Mr Louw and his World of Birds team before going on a tour of the sanctuary to meet its colourful, raucous inhabitants.