SA founder of baboon sanctuary Rita Miljo dies

Authorities are investigating the fire which started just after 8pm and destroyed the centre's clinic, offices and a house on the property. Three baboons that lived with her also died in the fire.

Miljo (81) started working with baboons in 1980 after rescuing an abandoned female – Bobby, who died with her in the fire – in Angola, which she brought back to South Africa. It was illegal then to rescue or house the animals without a permit and she often appeared in court on charges of illegally transporting or harbouring baboons. She then started the Care centre in Limpopo in 1989, which now has about 400 orphaned and abandoned baboons under its care.

With her organisation, Miljo nursed orphaned and injured baboons back to health, then developed methods of reintroducing troops of baboons back into the wild. In 1994, the centre successfully released 10 hand-reared baboons back into the wild. A year later, 70% had survived and integrated back into the wild population.

She stepped down from running her organisation in recent years, but remained involved in all new cases brought to the sanctuary.

Miljo's first husband, Lothar Simon, and her 17-year-old daughter died in a plane crash in 1972. Her later marriage to Piet Miljo ended in divorce.

She is survived by her brother who lives in Botswana.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Two dead in new ANC KwaZulu-Natal killings

A Mtubatuba councillor and a Hammarsdale ANC Youth League leader were shot yesterday near their homes

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it
Advertising

Press Releases

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations