Combining beauty with the love for endangered wildlife is all in a day’s work for the radiant Miss Namibia Selma Kamanya, who was recently invited by VARTA Namibia to visit the Rare & Endangered Species Trust (REST) - a sanctuary just outside of Outjo.
Miss Namibia who will be representing Namibia at the Miss Universe pageant was accompanied by Clarise van der Vyver, who will also be representing Namibia at the Miss Continents pageant, with both girls acting as VATAR anti-poaching ambassadors. The lovely beauty queens, together with a stunning third model, Sylvi Oestlund, participated in an intimate photo shoot with the various wildlife inhabitants at TRUST, to raise awareness for unknown endangered species. All three enjoyed a tour throughout the REST sanctuary whilst getting up close and personal with a host of the resident endangered species, and it was said that Selma lost her heart when she met some of these stunning creatures, in particular Dexter the Meerkat.
Maria Diekmann (REST Founder and director), says although the lovely Miss Namibia did not have previous experience in handling many of the wild animals she encountered, she was so calm and gentle around them, with the animals responding really well to her and they struck up an instant friendship. During the visit Selma met Pangolin, Warthogs, Cape Griffins, Eagles, a Meerkat and an injured owl. It was said that she really loved the Owl and the Pangolin, which she held lovingly as she posed for the camera.
REST is a non-profit organisation that has been going since 2000, and moved onto a new piece of located east of Outjo. It opens its doors to day trippers, tourist groups, school children and all other visitors who are taken on morning or afternoon tours. Miss Namibia enjoyed a full tour of the sanctuary, and even though there is a camping site and two bungalows with more to come, Selma and her entourage were booked into a hotel. Diekmann explains that their aim to set up basic accommodation for visitors to overnight, are especially for people wanting to share the environment with their nocturnal animals.
REST currently houses 11 non releasable animals such as big birds with broken wings, as well as a dozen orphaned ‘babies’ such as jackals and Kudu, which she prepares for release back into the wild. At least 80% of the animals need rehabilitating, in fact the day the New Era spoke to Diekman, she had just received a set of abandoned Jackal cubs with which she was busy settling in.
“It was such a pleasure meeting these three beautiful girls, who can represent Namibia and its endangered wildlife so well, by spreading the message of wildlife protection,” says Selma.
New Era Reporter
2018-11-16 10:10:13 27 days ago