Many South Africans as well as Volkswagen fans may recognise the heroine of one of Animal Planet’s latest documentaries, Wild Animal Orphans. The documentary stars Marlice van Vuuren and her husband Dr Rudie van Vuuren, founders and directors of N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia. Her unwavering passion for conservation and wildlife has turned her into quite the celebrity. Mention her name at any Kruger National Park safari and you will hear enthusiastic stories of her many achievements.
Premiered on the African Animal Planet Channel on the 6th March, Wild Animal Orphans follows the conservational work of Marlice van Vuuren and her family and showcases her extraordinary everyday life. The documentary will consist of thirteen episodes and will be broadcasted in the whole of Africa, across Europe and also the Middle East.
Marlice van Vuuren has led an astonishing life, and has had a close relationship with nature ever since she was young. Born in Namibia, she spent the first thirty years of her life caring for stray or injured animals on her parent’s farm. She also developed a close relationship with the native San community in Namibia, and is one of the few non-native people in the world who can speak the San language.
In 2004, Marlice and her husband purchased a farm outside of Windhoek to establish their own nature reserve, named N/a’an ku sê, the Bushmen word for ‘God will protect us’. The sanctuary cares for orphaned and injured animals that cannot safely be returned to the wild. One of Marlice van Vuuren’s most famous orphaned animals is the three legged cheetah Lucky, who featured in the award winning VW Golf 6 advert. Previous on screen accolades include working with Angelina Jolie on the film set Beyond Borders. In all of her work, whether on screen or off, Marlice van Vuuren’s passion for the world’s animal inhabitants shines bright. On your next Namibian or Kruger Park Safari, take a moment to think about the hard work that is nature conservation.
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