Friends of Free Wildlife is a community-based, public-funded volunteer organisation. It became a registered Non-Profit organization on 31st May 2016. The wildlife centre is run by passionate and qualified wildlife rehabilitators with the best interest of our urban wildlife at heart.
To create a well-respected, ethical wildlife rehabilitation centre that provides for the care of urban wildlife: that is, the rescue, rehabilitation and release of the animals that share our space and the education of the general public.
We operate under a Rehabilitation Permit granted by GDARD (Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development)
We are a registered NPO (Non-Profit Organization).
We are affiliated with the NSPCA and work closely with all SPCAs.
We are an approved Public Benefit Organization and hold a B-BBEE Level 4 EME.
We rely on the generosity of the public through donations, bequests, sponsorship and voluntary assistance in all aspects of running the organisation.
Click on the button below if you would like to support our work.
We encourage sponsorships of cages and materials needed to accommodate and rehabilitate our patients.Get Involved
Margi is our CEO and founding member of Friends of Free Wildlife.
Margi is passionate about ethical wildlife rehabilitation and education in all areas of society and most importantly the role of volunteers in our organisation. Margi has completed the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council Basic Course as well as the IWRC advanced courses in Pain & Wound Management, Fluid Therapy, Parasitology. She also organises and coordinates our IWRC courses.
Margi and her husband Rob have 2 wonderful daughters, Zoë, a wildlife scientist/ecologist and Kirsti who works as a senior online travel editor. Margi has 3 dogs, a parrot and two garden ponds, one for the koi and one for the tilapia and the frogs, and she is a keen gardener when time allows!
Jean Kübler (BA, LLB, LLM) – Legal director
Jean Urs Kübler specialises in Commercial Law, Company Law, Contract Law, Property Law and Labour Law. Jean is fully bilingual in both English and German and is admitted as a Conveyancer and a Notary Public.
Prior to founding SLKB Inc. Jean was an Associate at a reputable German law firm in Johannesburg, where he assisted a multitude of mainly German clients. Before entering practice, Jean lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand at the Oliver Schreiner School of Law, where he instructed in the fields of Business Enterprises Law, Mercantile Law, Commercial Law, Law of Lease, Law of Succession, Family Law, and Law of Persons. Jean still lectures at the University on a part time basis. Out of the office, Jean has a keen interest in classic cars.
Ian Fraser CA (SA) – Financial director
After “retiring” I started my own practice again in 2015 specialising in financial and forensic investigations, tax planning and compliance, corporate valuations, process mapping of financial systems, due diligence investigations, risk management, business continuity planning, strategic sourcing and other financial management activities.
Dr Georgie Spanos BVSc – Veterinary director
I wanted to be a vet for as long as I could remember, and I’ve always been fascinated with the more weird and wonderful creatures. I’ve always been passionate about conservation and almost became a wildlife vet instead of a smallies vet.
I qualified in 2019 and completed my Community Service year doing rural upliftment work on the West Rand. After that, I became a part of the BAESAC family. I’m glad to have found a place where I can do exotic animal medicine and help our local wildlife.
Carole Tatham – Education Operations director
My journey with FFW started in Sept 2017 even though I had a highly pressurised job working long hours, I felt I needed a purpose. My neighbour – a volunteer – told me about FFW and so I booked myself on the next orientation course … and immediately started volunteering on Saturday mornings. As an avid nature and animal lover, this was the perfect fit. Sometime in 2018 I was asked to present the basic kitchen orientation courses and have developed these as an ongoing project to encompass evolving protocols and methodologies. I hope to continue improving ways of working and setting up ‘fool-proof’ procedures and guidelines to make the volunteer experience more meaningful and enjoyable.
Team – get to know us
SENIOR ANIMAL MANAGER
Claudius Sibanda is our Senior Animal Manager and a Founding Member of Friends of Free Wildlife.
Claudius started working as a wildlife rehabilitator in 2002 under the tutelage of Margi, who at that time was CEO of FreeMe Wildlife Centre (now closed and defunct).
Claudius has been an integral part of establishing the Free Wildlife Centre.
Claudius has over the past 20 years gained vast experience of many species of birds, mammals and reptiles.
He is involved in all aspects of our Centre and trains our volunteers through different levels of basic and advanced wildlife courses.
Claudius has continued with his education after passing his A Levels in Zimbabwe. He has a Diploma in Veterinary Service and Agriculture and was a veterinary inspector in Zimbabwe; Certificate for Snake Handling and Snake Bite treatment and a Diploma in Veterinary Surgery. Claudius has also has completed the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council Basic Course as well as the IWRC advanced courses in Pain & Wound Management, Fluid Therapy, Parasitology.
ANIMAL CARE ASSISTANT
Bethwell Ngwenya has been at Free Wildlife for 2 years now and he is an essential part of our team. He looks after the day to day care of wild animals in a variety of different settings, under supervision. He works in kitchen, in the enclosures and also the clinic. He is excellent at setting up our cages for different species, cage enrichment is a large part of his job.
A huge thank you to our supporting vets at BRYANSTON AVIAN, EXOTIC & SMALL ANIMAL CLINIC
Dr Perushan Yenketsamy, Dr Jean Davidson, Dr Melissa Marengo and Dr Georgie Spanos
Pic: Dr Melissa; Dr Georgie; Margi; Dr Perushan; Dr Jean
Free Wildlife has a large list of veterinarians who regularly assist with orphaned and injured indigenous wildlife including: Craighall Veterinary Hospital; Boskruin Veterinary Clinic; Randpark Ridge Veterinary Hospital; Radiokop Animal Clinic; Orange Grove Veterinary Hospital; Chartwell Veterinary Clinic; Lammermoor Veterinary Clinic; Honeydew Animal Clinic; Three Rivers Veterinary Clinic, Vereeniging.
FFW rely on this invaluable professional service to assist the public who find wild animals that need attention; the vets and their staff often stabilise and care for the animals whilst waiting for one of our FFW volunteers to call and collect.
Bidvest Services South Africa (SA)
proud sponsors of renovations and remodelling of FFW at 69, Rose Road, Sun Valley, Kyalami
FNB Donor Choice Foundation
sponsored the revamp and upgrade for our new mammal enclosures