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Gert Otto Baboon Hok

Gert Otto Baboon Hok

Personal message

From the moment that Gert Otto arrived at Bambelela in 2013, it was like he belonged here. He had a natural affinity for the monkeys and the baboons that were to follow, in particular Merlin. The only monkey that ever drew blood from Gert was Richie, a very old female, virtually blind and with very few teeth, maybe it was her sharp finger nails! She was perhaps jealous of Gert’s relationship with Silke but would sleep next to him in her final months.

Gert drove 6 days a week to fetch food for the monkeys and the baboons. He was the main driver support for 9 Releases: Dingaan, Lisa, Nkawu, Mauzi, Beanie, Monti, Timbox, Amstel’s Castle and Elli – Setting up Camp and supporting personnel whilst out in the field and Breaking up of camp as well as on going monitoring of newly released troops.

Gert and in particular Merlin and Julie had a close bond. The two Baboons would instinctively know which tool he would need as he was making numerous repairs around Bambelela and would run off with it just to get his attention. And oh boy it worked

Because of Merlin’s on-going seizures, Julie’s Habituation and Electrocution, Thandi’s Electrocution and Gert’s Relationship with each of these characters, we would like to honour his commitment, his love of these primates and everything that he did for Bambelela by building a sanctuary for these special needs baboons and naming it after him. The cage will be called the Gert Otto Baboon Hok and will be a fitting memorial to a great man who supported Bambelela, Silke and the Bambelela Team for the past 5 years in so many ways. His memory will live on, his contribution never forgotten and even in death, his legacy will keep Merlin, Julie and Thandi in a safe environment

We are Raising R 100 000 for the building of the Gert Otto Baboon Hok. This cage will cater for the special needs of our Chacma Baboons here at Bambelela giving them a second chance at life.

Thank you for caring and sharing. R.I.P. Or like Oom Gert always said:'' The one and only Gert Otto''. Whom will be missed by so many of us. And "Dont Worry, Be Happy" and "Thanks for leaving"


  • Oct 23, 2018 - R 2 056.40
  • "Hugs to all my favourite Baboons xx" - Jolene Fendler

  • Sep 15, 2018 - R 1 003.35
  • "For the baboons xx" - Ella Gray

  • Aug 26, 2018 - R 1 028.20
  • "For all the great work you do" - Daya

  • Aug 25, 2018 - USD $ 37.00
  • "Thank you for all you do for the animals" - Cherez

  • Aug 24, 2018 - USD $ 52.05
  • "I love you guys and Gert with all my heart and soul. I am so sad to not be able to make it to you before my schooling starts but I hope this serves as a small token of gratitude for what you mean to m" - Tyler Lewis

  • Aug 13, 2018 - USD $ 27.12
  • "What a great way to honour Gert Otto! I hope the baboons enjoy their Hok and life safe and happy lives for many years to come " - Laura Reeve

  • Aug 07, 2018 - USD $ 157.80
  • "In memory of a wonderful supporter of Bambelela" - Joy and Keith

  • Aug 03, 2018 - USD $ 23.47
  • "In memory of the one and only Gert Otto" - Kim & Linda

  • Aug 02, 2018 - USD $ 20.89
  • "For the baboons in memory of Gert" - Anna Wood

  • Aug 02, 2018 - R 205.64

  • Aug 01, 2018 - USD $ 79.37
  • "Thank you" - Maira

  • Aug 01, 2018 - R 2 056.40
  • "To celebrate a great man" - Sue

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Donations to date

R 14 875.05

Fundraising target

R 100 000.00

Funds raised offline

R 3 100.00

Bambelela Wildlife Care NPC

Bambelela Wildlife Care NPC Logo

Silke von Eynern, the founder and major benefactor of the facility, originally immigrated to South Africa from Germany in 1990, with her late husband. After his death in 1997 she decided to dedicate her life and savings towards the care and conservation of South African Wildlife and so Bambelela (which means “to hold on” in Zulu) came into being in December 2003.

To set up your own fundraising page for Bambelela Wildlife Care click here