Joseph resident Stanlynn Daugherty has devoted much of her life in Wallowa County to caring for llamas. Then she went to Africa and took on lions, leopards, cheetahs and rhinos. Friday Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. she will share her African experiences in a multi-media presentation on the new big screen at the Odd Fellows Hall in Enterprise.
Daugherty’s African adventures began in 2018 when she decided she’d escape Wallowa County’s winters with an African safari. She headed for Botswana’s wildlife-rich Okavango Delta, where the Okavango River meets the vast Kalahari desert, a UNESCO world heritage site.
It was a great experience with only one problem. “You couldn’t get out of the vehicles or the wildlife would kill you,” Daugherty said only half-jokingly. “I wanted to go back to Africa and see the animals, but I really wanted to get out of the car when I got there.”
After a protracted search, she found the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary in central Namibia. They offered a two-week intensive class in wildlife rehabilitation and care of captive animals. Then the real work started: participating in research at their 82,000 acre reserve, as well as another site in southern Namibia. Daugherty learned how to dart wildlife with tranquilizers, and, importantly, how to deal with effects of various snake bite toxins. It was interesting, she said, “to find out what kind of toxins are in these different snakes, and what you do about it.”
Daugherty participated in wildlife research including documenting zebra wallows, counting large antelope known as oryx, and “looking for leopard poop when it was more than 100 degrees outside,” she said. She also attended an informal wildlife culinary school that included how to best prepare a giraffe leg for the African wild dogs. “My little piece of heaven was the time I got to bottle-feed a baby rhino,” she said. “But it didn’t last very long. It was about a ten second operation. She just Hoovered this bottle down, and it was like, ‘OK, I’m all done.’ But my life is complete now.”
The couple who started the Naankuse sanctuary and foundation, Marlice and Rudie van Vuuren are Namibians. Marlice grew up on a wildlife sanctuary and her husband Rudie is a doctor. They have combined their wildlife work with a medical clinic and a school for the indigenous San Bushmen who work on their reserve and in the tourist lodges that support their conservation, educational and medical work. Naankuse means “God will protect us” in the San Bushman language.
“It’s really this organic, holistic awesome endeavor,” Daugherty said. “They use the income from the lodges to support the sanctuaries, clinic and the schools. It’s wonderful.”
Naankuse is featured in a recent CNN Inside Africa program and the video is available online at
CNN Naankuse video. More information about the Naankuse sanctuary at the website which is: http://www.naankuse.com/.
The Odd Fellows Hall, their big screen and Daugherty’s 7 p.m. Dec. 20 presentation are located at 105 NE First Street, Enterprise. Donations at the door are appreciated, (“No donation too small,” Daugherty said), and will be divided equally between the Odd Fellows to support their renovations, and the Naankuse Foundation to support their work in wildlife conservation and San Bushmen community health and education.