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Nature conservationist’s love for owls soars high

Mankweng resident, Delina Chipape, says her love and passion for nature developed at a young age from watching 50/50 with her father every Sunday evening.

POLOKWANE – Delina Chipape says the hunting tactics used by predators and how their prey knew danger was approaching and would flee, fascinated her. “It was because of this that I applied to study Nature Conservation through Unisa after matriculating,” she exlplained.

The 28-year-old is now qualified and told BONUS of her two years’ service training, where she worked closely with conservationists at the Letaba Ranch Nature Reserve in Phalaborwa.

“This is where I learned in-depth about nature, which included identifying types of grass, conducting research and monitoring and studying animal behavior and the ecological cycle as a whole. What I had noticed was that there were many issues involving nature and that human and wildlife conflict is inevitable and still very important,” she said.

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Between 2018 and 2020, Delinah’s career boomed when she received the opportunity to run an Owl Project through Ecosolutions in Randburg, Gauteng.

There she got to work closely and personally with one of the world’s most feared bird species; the owl. “I learned about these incredible creatures but also had a hand in educating over 10 000 children from different parts of the country about them and the important role they play, ecologically,” she added.

Delinah added that owl mythology is still common in communities that were never exposed or educated about them and she is proud to be part of the few that can help to save and preserve this rare bird species. “People only fear what they do not know, so education is the way,” she concluded.

She concluded by noting that her favourite animal is the cheetah as they are cunning creatures. “They get what they want easily, without having to break a sweat. I also find the fluffy fur on the cheetah cubs incredibly cute.”

She says she also loves wild dogs for their natural sociable characters. “I love how they work together as a pack with only two leaders, the alpha male and female during hunting seasons, sharing food, as well as helping each other when they are sick. They teach me teamwork,” she said.

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