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World of Birds staff have agreed to take a hefty pay cut to ease financial pressure on the famous attraction.

Despite Africa’s largest bird park putting a prime piece of land on the market and a well-publicised campaign on crowd-funding platform BackaBuddy, the popular attraction continues to face a financial crisis.

World of Birds performs an important community service as a haven for sick and injured birds and small animals.

For over 40 years it has helped more than 40 000 animals.

The land went on the market in May and, according to Propstats data, vacant land in Hout Bay had sold for between R1.7million and R3 million and the plot was expected to fetch around R2.5 million.

However, the reality is that it could be more than 10 months before World of Birds sees any return on the sale.

“Our 45 staff members have agreed to work half time for the next few months. But even at the half time rate, we are paying R60 000 a week in salaries,” said World of Birds manager Hendrik Louw.

“There was a discussion around retrenchments, and our staff, who were very understanding, agreed to work half time to avoid retrenchments. Everyone has been very supportive.”

To date, the BackaBuddy campaign has raised R90 000, but this had not really made an impact.

“The reality is that we could face a financial crisis in August, which is just around the corner. We are just trying to get through the next few months so we can make it to December, which is our busiest time obviously,” Mr Louw said.

In addition to covering salaries, World of Birds’ other major cost is specialised foods for the animals. This amounts to R100 000 a month.

Mr Louw said they had tried to raise money on another crowd-funding platform without success.

“We have approached several private funders during this period, and we are very grateful to them. Massimo’s (restaurant), for example, has raised R6 000 from their quiz nights.”

Last year, World of Birds was forced to cull 150 birds when five birds tested positive for avian influenza.

Fortunately, the outbreak of the H5N8 strain was confined to two open enclosures.

To donate to World of Birds, visit