Aiden’s Angels International

Update posted by Donnette Davis Fry On Aug 28, 2015

It was welcomed internationally on Tuesday when Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife distributed a press release confirming that with immediate effect all commercial activities at Kwa Cheetah Captive Breeding Centre must be cancelled.

This of course does not absolve the facility of liability in the case of injuries sustained by the three victims in a two month duration, Lesley-Anne Marais, Mrs XX and Aiden. The fact that the facility owner Rob le Seur, had deliberately not informed anyone of these attacks begs many questions.

We don't believe that if Cowan House School had been aware of the previous incidents they would have endangered the lives of the pupils; perhaps taken them on an alternative outing. Certainly adequate measures in terms of insurance policies etc should be put in place for excursions of this time, as the current insurance policy which school pupils' parent pay for is highly inadequate for incidents of this nature, and each should perhaps be looked at on their own merits. That aside, I still firmly that had the cheetah attack on Mrs XX been disclosed to the school (the day before Aiden's attack) the school would have cancelled the trip.

The manner in which things unfolded immediately after the attach including sending the children on a safari drive, including Aiden, who was in severe agony, is something which we have to consider in a very serious light, and someone has to be he held accountable for putting over 40 children through such a traumatic ordeal following on directly from the horrific incident they witnessed.

Certainly wildlife education plays a vital role in our country, with our diminishing numbers continuing to grow each year, conservation education, done in the appropriate manner, is absolutely critical. However, to reintegrate a wild animal back into its natural habitat it needs to have as little human interaction as possible.


This is not the case at Kwa Cheetah where people are paying up to R300 per person to spend half hour or so in an enclosure petting cheetah and taking photos. These are not cheetah cubs. These are adults and sub-adults, fully capable of taking down an antelope. These are wild animals with wild animal predator instincts, and they belong just there - in the wild. (Picture supplied to Ladysmith Website and (c) to original owner - used for educational and informative purposes only)

Yes, captive breeding may have a role to play in conservation - but if the intentions are honourable and driven with the true passion and integrity inherent in every seriously concerned conservationist, money would not be the priority.

For more information on the devastating injuries suffered by Mrs XX who has only just been released from ICU visit IOL.

For the full Ezemvelo Press Release/report visit News 24.

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Update posted by Donnette Davis Fry On Aug 26, 2015

During the turmoil, extreme emotions, anger, resentment, misconceptions, lack of understanding and absolute horror at what was and what could have been, Aiden's day was made when an early morning call was received from none other than our hero, Gareth Cliff. Now, Gareth is no new name to anyone in South Africa. His often controversial views and outspokenness enjoy enormous attention - and at the end of it all, he is still everybody's hero.

The day after Aiden's release from hospital he received a call from GarethCliff - CliffCentral, and the resulting podcast, which I have listened to a hundred times, just never grows old.

One man, who made a difference in a traumatised little boy's life, simply by saying "Aiden, you are my hero!"; one man, who took time out of his day to lighten the heavy burden faced by the family, to lighten the very seriousness of the situation - which was not lost on Gareth. But he did it. He made a little boy's day! Gareth, we believe, was a major force in the beginning of Aiden's healing process. It is something Aiden reminds us of constantly - Big stuff! "I am Gareth Cliff's hero".


Today we take time to acknowledge the important role Gareth played at a time when the family needed a boost, Aiden needed a 'friend', and he found one in Gareth. We also want to wish you a very happy birthday, Gareth. No doubt we will hear about your celebrations, and look forward to it!

Lastly, but by no means least, THANK YOU!

You can listen to and/or download Gareth's Podcast Interview here:

Ten-year-old Aiden Fry survived an attack by a cheetah at a KwaZulu-Natal sanctuary by punching it in the face and escaping. Gareth Cliff speaks to his father Craig about the ordeal.

Lucky escape from a cheetah!



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Update posted by Donnette Davis Fry On Aug 26, 2015

From popular website http://www.pictures-of-cats.org we came across a beautifully, factually written article by Michael Broad - no frills, no fuss, just bare facts. His expertise and knowledge is unquestionable. An excerpt from his first article on the Cheetah Attack reads as follows:

You may remember the worldwide reporting of a cheetah attack on a ten-year-old boy at a captive cheetah breeding centre in Ladysmith, South Africa. Schoolchildren were on an educational outing organised by their school to the Kwa Cheetah breeding centre. One of those children was 10-year-old Aiden Davis.

Michael has been meticulous in his research and has updated the website with new information and graphics - he was the first to publish the rather upsetting photographs of the injuries sustained by Aiden, and he did so with our blessing.

What is notable is the compassion and genuine concern that has emerged from the comments section on his website - something we in South Africa have yet to learn.

Michael's latest article can be found here

Aftermath of Cheetah Attack: Struggle to Obtain Justice and Compensation

There are three issues in the aftermath of this unpleasant attack which has left Aiden traumatised and badly injured. The first is that Aiden?s parents do not want to litigate against either the school or the cheetah centre thereby causing bad publicity for these organisations and bad relations. They are simply seeking fair play and compensation to pay for medical expenses to heal their son.


Aiden loves to play sport, be it cricket, hockey, rugby, tennis, swimming, and he is an enthusiastic runner having been acknowledged in his school by being a member of the Cross Country Team 100 Club. He plays both A and B teams in most of the sports, and enjoys interacting with national and international athletes at major racing events in South Africa.

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Update posted by Donnette Davis Fry On Aug 25, 2015

In a press release today, Musa Mntambo, Communications Manager, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife confirmed the decision to suspend commercial exhibition at the KwaCheetah Captive Breeding Facility in Ladysmith.

For a number of reasons this decision comes as a welcome step forward in ensuring that captive breeding for conservation purposes is conducted in an ethical manner, with the interests of the animal foremost in the project. Before I go on to the official press release, we believe, in our opinion, that this decision will change the face of captive breeding for monetary gain, under the guise of conservation.

While I have conducted an enormous amount of research into this project and other similar projects, I am by no means an expert on conservation or the protection and preservation of endangered animals, or in fact any animal at risk. What I can confirm is that having had an active interest and role in conservation on a much smaller, personal scale, my family and I are absolutely delighted that no harm will come to the cheetah, who, due to the very nature of being a wild animal, have natural instinctive characteristics that will manifest at some stage or another.

The enormous amount of international and national media interest that this tragic incident has brought about hope to millions of wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists around the world, and indeed will pave the way for ensuring that the ethical breeding of animals is done under strict conditions, tailored specifically to enable to animal to be released back into the wild, where they belong, where nature intended them to be.

The press release:

"KwaCheetah operates from within Nambithi Game Reserve situated outside Ladysmith. The decision to suspend KwaCheetah follows the recent incidents of cheetahs attacking at least three people within the last two months.

The first incident that Ezemvelo is aware of happened on 28th June 2015. The last two happened on 5th and 6th August 2015 respectively. The Cheetah involved in all these incidents will not be destroyed. The investigation is still on going and the Cheetah has not shown any form of aggression during the investigation.

Ezemvelo instituted an investigation on Wednesday, 12 August 2015 to determine how these attacks happened and if KwaCheetah was conducting its activities according to the Management Plan that they had submitted to Ezemvelo when they applied for a Keep in Captivity permit.

During the investigation, Ezemvelo discovered that KwaCheetah was already conducting certain activities which are still being considered whilst other activities are not in line with their Management Plan. The activities that are not in line with the submitted Management Plan have resulted in the extensive consultation and lengthy review of the proposed Management Plan.

Kwa Cheetah has amenably welcomed the decision and has further ceased all commercial exhibition until Ezemvelo has decided on the status of their Management Plan. Both parties are working together to ensure that Kwa Cheetah conducts its activities within the applicable legislation failing which the permit will not be granted.

?It has to be noted that application for a permit does not automatically imply that a permit will be granted; rather that Ezemvelo will consider all prevailing facts before reaching a decision. Applicants conducting operations without obtaining a permit prior to commencing their activities do so at their own risk. The public has a right to ask if such organizations have necessary permits and are advised not to visit such places should they not be happy with an explanation provided.?The Acting CEO of Ezemvelo, Dr MD Mabunda warned.

For further inquiries please direct them to:

Musa Mntambo

Communications Manager

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

Tel: +27 (0)33 845 1743

Cell: +27 (0)83 284 9586

Email:

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This is welcome news, for both the safety of visitors and the welfare of the cheetahs themselves. Thanks for keeping us posted with the latest news.

Michele Speirs

Update posted by Aug 25

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Update posted by Donnette Davis Fry On Aug 23, 2015

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

We have, in consultation with experts, elected to provide photographs of the severity of Aiden's wounds and have subsequently added some photographs of Aiden's injuries taken immediately after the attack on him by the cheetah. The photos were supplied by the Ladysmith Doctor who treated Aiden, for his wounds, with a brief description in his report of what the wounds appeared like superficially. He has in telephonic communications indicated that the wounds in the back were up to 28mm deep, but could not be absolutely positive. The pictures will clearly indicate exposed tissue, muscle and bone.

The injuries on his arms, groin and scratches on his chest and neck were not documented but have been photographed and were treated surgically by the specialist surgeon who attended Aiden in Pietermaritxburg.

It is evident from the initial doctor's report that the tissue (muscle) and skin around the wounds had already become infected and that it was necrotic - that means it was dying. By the following morning it was substantially worse, despite emergency treatment in the evening at a Pietermaritzburg hospital. The delay of some 10 hours before receiving this additional care we believe compounded the extremely serious injuries. The holes from the cheetah's teeth are clearly visible on his body, and required drains to drain sepsis from the cavities, which was done during sergery by the specialist surgeon attending to Aiden after his return to Pietermaritzburg.

Update as of today, Sunday 23 August 2015, Aiden has developed infection in one of the wounds on his back and one on the side of the chest. Treatment was prescribed and obtained for him on Saturday when it appeared that this was problematic. No further medical exploration is possible until all infection is clear.

Further follow up appointments with the specialist surgeon are scheduled, and the probability is a referral to the orthopedic surgeon.

Aiden is receiving physiotherapy regularly, but has not yet commenced counseling due to lack of funding.

Once again, we thank you for your support and interest in Aiden. We will continue to update as the days go by.


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Dear Guest Jim, it is difficult for me to express my humble gratitude and thanks, because I just tear up and get overwhelmed. This is a difficult campaign because we are human and we try to protect our families and retain some dignity. Please take it from the bottom of my heart in the most sincerest manner that I, as Aiden’s mother, and on behalf of Aiden, are and will be eternally grateful for your assistance. Thank you. You are forever an #earthangel. I am sorry I could not send this mail personally. It keeps saying " incorrect captcha"

Donnette Davis Fry

Posted On Aug 25, 2015

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Good luck

Jim

Backed with $100.00 On Aug 24, 2015

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Dear Michele, I have no words - thank you for your kindness, and especially towards my brave little man. I have emailed you. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

Donnette Davis Fry

Posted On Aug 24, 2015

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I'm so sorry this should have happened to your son through no fault of his own. I wish him all the very best for a full recovery. Please let Aiden know, many people around the world do care what happened and will be thinking of you all and wishing you well x

Michele Speirs

Backed On Aug 24, 2015 Amount Hidden

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Samuel, thank you! #EarthAngel From the bottom of our hearts ?

Donnette Davis Fry

Posted On Aug 23, 2015

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Dear Aiden - get well soon - Dear Community - talk is cheap, let us help. Let us help grow this young men out of this sad accident bigger than he was before. Cheers. S

Samuel Huegli

Backed On Aug 23, 2015 Amount Hidden

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Donnette Davis Fry

Mother

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My son is my priority. The welfare of the animals is a priority and for this we will work with Wildlands SA during this campaign.

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Dr Andrew Venter

WIldlife COnservation Expert

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CEO of the Wildlands Conservation Trust www.wildlands.co.za and Executive Producer of Blood Lions - a campaign against the breeding of predators for NON-CONSERVATION puposes

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Catherine Salki

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Michele Speirs

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Jennifer Jackson

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Doey Davis

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Meryl Stripe

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Donnette Davis Fry

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