Written by Yolanda Cronjè, Chairlady, SPCA Louis Trichardt
Photography by Alicia Thomas
When you’re part of the SPCA, you’re constantly looking around while driving; you never know what you might find.
Out for a casual drive one afternoon, looking around, everything in its place, no dogs or cats in sight, an ostrich in the driveway… Wait, WHAT? Yes, there, in all its tall, feathered glory, is an ostrich sitting in a driveway!
I just had to go back, take pictures and send the information to our Senior Inspector, Lawrence Khodobo, so he could get in touch with the owner of this house. Lawrence stopped by the house that same afternoon, and what a lovely story this actually is.
Lea de Beer was the first rescuer of Vossie the Ostrich. Vossie had some very bad injuries to his legs and thighs when Lea found him. Vossie tried to break through the fence from where he was kept – obviously the space was not big enough. This beautiful bird was now almost completely healed and Lea needed a forever home for her feathered friend.
As luck would have it, we know a family on a farm not too far out of town who already have some ostriches. They were very happy about this phone call and told us they’d gladly take Vossie in.
The next day, Vossie the rescued ostrich went to his new home on the farm.
Our instructions were clear: Vossie loves humans and simply LOOOOVES eating cucumber and spinach. We later discovered that he also has a great fondness for mangos.
Vossie gets spoiled with his favourites, and simply adores all the attention and visits from his new humans. And he enjoys the company of his new ostrich friends too.
In his new home Vossie can now run free and be as wild as he likes, with all the space his heart desires.
A note from Vossie’s new owner, Wessel Cronjè
We initially thought Vossie was a female due to his grey-brown colouring, but it turned out that he’s a male! What a surprise – but a lovely surprise. Just shows you how young Vossie really was when he found his way to us. (All ostriches start out grey-brown and males only get their black-and-white plumage when they’re around nine months old.)
Vossie is a real ladies’ man. He’s integrated with the three females we have, and it’s just beautiful to see them all together. They have a huge camp in which they live but love to roam close to our house early in the morning. (It might have something to do with the treats I put out for them…)