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Piglet

He came to us as a tiny, dying baby (we suspect that his mother had been shot). The people who had him were well meaning but did not have the facilities or the expertise to keep him alive.

We drove over 500km in the middle of the night to fetch him and for the first week we never left his side, afraid that he would take a turn for the worse at any moment.

He spent that first while with us in an incubator and on a drip - the first day he could stand unaided was a huge triumph for us as we knew that he then had a fighting chance.

In the months that we cared for him we learned how to grunt just like a mommy aardvark to comfort him, we learned to use a special bottle (designed for cleft palate babies) to help him suckle with his oddly shaped mouth, we learned never to leave him unsupervised in the garden as he dug tunnels with lightning speed down which he would disappear and later have to be extricated, we learned how far the kindness of others extends (with a huge donation of special milk from Royal Canin and heaps of support and advice from so many people - special thanks to Nicci Wright at Free Me).

Finally we learned about letting go, when we released him into the best, most termite filled area of the Kalahari possible.

Piglet only had a few months as a wild aardvark before a terrible accident took his life - but in our heartache we have the satisfaction of knowing that we took him from a tiny pink baby with almost no chance at life to a strong, healthy, free aardvark who roamed the Kalahari the way he should, and who never saw a cage.