Photo Credit: Dr K & Sarah Kempen

A local vet intervened in the illegal sale of a young Caracal kitten, saving her life and making sure she ended up in the right hands.


Johannesburg, South Africa (23 April 2024) – A caracal kitten, between 6 – 8 weeks, was recently confiscated by a very brave local vet who intervened during the illegal sale of the wild animal. The kitten was taken to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital where she was treated.

The team had to sedate her because she was so feisty, meaning she has retained her full wild nature – a good start for her rehabilitation and release!

She was named Rufina and is getting stronger every day. Soon she will head to her soft release enclosure and when she is old enough, she will live freely at the Love Lions Alive Sanctuary Reserve.

“A local vet bravely confiscated a caracal kitten (Caracal caracal) from illegal sellers and arranged to get this feisty one to our hospital. Arriving late one evening, Dr K sedated her to enable a safe, and stress free medical examination. She was immediately placed on intravenous fluids, her emaciated state was of great concern. We estimated her age to be around 6 – 8 weeks old, and we cannot even imagine what had happened to her mother for her to have become another statistic in the illegal trade of wildlife.

Affectionately named Rufina, meaning ruffian, due to her incredibly feisty stance and her wild nature. She is rarely seen as she prefers to hide when people are around, but we hear her hissy spitty noises every time we check on her. A brief glimpse of her darting between hiding spots is as much as we usually see, along with the remains of her meals.

She is growing like a proverbial weed and she will soon go to Love Lions Alive Sanctuary for her soft release process. Here she will eventually be released on their lovely reserve to live a free life once again.”

Usually it takes a task force to stop animal traffickers in their tracks, this time though, it was one local vet who risked it to save Rufina. We are proud and thankful!

The veterinary hospital thankfully treats indigenous animals free of charge. There are several ways that people can help them keep doing it. JWVH accepts donations here, or see their full wishlist here. An easy way to get involved is to also nominate them on your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet rewards card, which you can do so here. Or via direct bank transfer, see their banking details below.

Johannesburg Wildlife NPC
FNB Cheque account
Account nr: 62658400264
Branch code: 255355
Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

Or via SnapScan:
Or via PayPal:
Or via PayFast:

Sources: JWVH
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Do you have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here or click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes there’s good news around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *