Johannesburg Wildlife Vet: Caring for the creatures injured or displaced due to human/wildlife conflict


Dr Karin Lourens is using her veterinary experience to nurse the often-overlooked city wildlife in Johannesburg. She has been working in small animal medicine and surgery for 14 years, and developed an interest in wildlife five years ago.

Volunteering at FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Lourens was exposed to the plight of non-domestic creatures. Because most vets lack the expertise required to care for the diverse array of species that end up in their practices, many animals don’t receive the treatment they need.

To address the issue in her community, Lourens started the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital ( a non-profit dedicated to nursing sick and injured indigenous wildlife back to health. “I am at my happiest when I’ve saved a life,” says Lourens.

While there are already a number of fantastic wildlife organisations in operation, this is the first in the area to specialise in small-to-medium-sized animals. Along with chameleons, the facility cares for the likes of bats, meerkats, owls and hedgehogs. Lourens and her team are ensuring that these urban creatures are no longer overlooked.

On 28 August 2017 at 4.14pm, Beautiful News will release the short-film of Karin Lourens on

About Beautiful News

Beautiful News unfolds the untold stories and generates positive conversations about South Africa, showcasing the extra-ordinary yet ordinary South Africans, their humanity, their ideas and their stories while celebrating the spirit and community of the South African people in an authentic way. The multimedia platform is founded by photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn who was the visionary of the 21 Icons project that profiled the extraordinary men and women who led South Africa’s journey to democracy and helped to unite its communities. The experience of creating that project made it clear that South Africa has an abundance of people whose untold stories are worthy of celebration.

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