Interview: Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary (Part Three)

In the third and final part of our interview, Dr. Rudie and Marlice van Vuuren of the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary talk about their collaboration with actress Angelina Jolie.

To read the other parts of the interview click on the links below:


RsL: In 2011, Angelina Jolie began to support the Naankuse Foundation and together you’ve founded the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary. How did this partnership come about?

Marlice van Vuuren: In 2003 I worked as an animal wrangler on the movie “Beyond Borders” that was filmed with Angelina Jolie in the vicinity of Swakopmund in Namibia. I wrangled a vulture on this shoot, and that was the first time I met Angelina Jolie. Angelina Jolie first visited the N/a’an ku sê Foundation in December 2010, and it was then that she committed funds for various designated projects.

Dr. Rudie and Marlice van Vuuren with Angelina Jolie

RsL: What is the difference between the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary and the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary?

Rudie & Marlice: The N/a’an ku sê Foundation Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 2007 and caters to any wildlife in need. We are not species specific. As many animals as possible are released back into the wild, only those too old, injured or habituated to humans remaining at the sanctuary. Their captive habitats are as natural as possible and accommodate their instinctive needs within financially attainable parameters.

The Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 2017 and is a collaboration between the N/a’an ku sê Foundation, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation and the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT).

The Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary is a facility for rhinos and elephants having been injured or orphaned through incidents of poaching, conflict or otherwise.

Large holding pens have been constructed here specifically to accommodate rhinos and elephants, and a 4×4 truck is also available for the transport of these massive animals. We also have the services of a full-time veterinarian. Once rehabilitated and nursed back to health, the rhinos and elephants are either returned to their place of origin or released onto the Zannier Reserve by N/a’an ku sê or another protected reserve.

RsL: What is your impression of Ms. Jolie?

Rudie & Marlice: Angelina Jolie’s support has put both the N/a’an ku sê Foundation and Namibia on the world map. Her name has opened so many doors in conservation for us and has also led to many more people learning about Namibia and the conservation work that is accomplished in this country. We highly value her commitment to the N/a’an ku sê Foundation, her understanding of the needs of Namibia’s people and wildlife and her passion for both conservation and humanitarian projects worldwide. 

RsL: What was is it like to work with her?

Rudie & Marlice: Angelina is someone who works with you, she listens first and tries to understand what happens on the ground. You can also learn a lot from her, she has wisdom.

My thanks go to Dr. Rudie and Marlice van Vuuren for taking the time to answer all my questions and to Colette Massier for her support and patience!

All videos ©Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary

For more information and videos about the N/a’an ku sê Foundation:

Official Website: Naankuse

YouTube: N/a’an ku sê Foundation – YouTube