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The South African National Bird of Prey Centre (SANBOPC) started as a young kid's dream in the early 1970's. After reading an article on the Falcon Centre opened by Mr. Phillip Glasier and family in the U.K. National Bird Of Prey Centre owned by Mr. Glasier's daughter Ms. Jemima Parry-Jones) the dream was to one day open a bird of prey centre in Africa. In 1996 that dream became a reality and Africa's first raptor centre opened to the public. As per our mission statement the aim of the centre is the conservation of birds of prey.

Click on the picture for a closer look (Photograph by Phil Sturgess)

The SANBOPC started out as the South African Bird of Prey Centre because certain people in the conservation world felt that the word "national" would imply that the centre had national recognition. (petty, short- sighted, narrow-minded and a few other words that I'm sure one can not publish in cyberspace).

Soon the centre had national recognition with T.V., radio, newspaper and magazine coverage. Birds were coming in from all four corners of the country and local and international visitors were arriving on a daily basis. Unfortunately the administration side of things was left in the hands of someone else, and many things that should have been done just never came about.

A disagreement with the landlord ended up in the Supreme Court with the South African Bird of Prey Centre's long term lease being declared null and void. (Sub-division of Agriculture Land Act, Act 70 of 1970) A long and dull story that I won't bore anyone with. If you're really interested, e-mail me and I'll send you the details. Needless to say this was a costly exercise.

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The SABOPC died but the vision and passion was still there. Like the Phoenix the South African National Bird of Prey Centre rose out of the ashes. The birds were moved to Johannesburg and temporarily housed at the Johannesburg Zoological Gardens breeding farm . Some of the breeding birds were passed on to Mr. Mark Labuschangne who was opening a falconry centre at Treehaven Waterfowl Trust a breeding loan agreement was entered into with Mark.This center has subsequently closed down.

At the beginning of 2000, after close on two years of hard work, the South African National Bird of Prey Centre was finally registered as a non profit organisation number 2000/003517/08 thereby giving the centre a long-term future.

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