As a Professor of English Literature at South Africa University, native African Niko Shefer is a respected educator. While much can be written about Niko Shefer’s contribution to his students in his work life, Shefer gives back in his personal life as well.
Shefer is a dedicated volunteer and funder at his local zoo where he works to rehabilitate tortoises. The rehabilitation of these tortoises are a controversial topic and financial and funding opportunities are required from investors. While tortoises and turtles have been around for over 250 million years, these creatures are challenged today by their confrontations with man.
Humans have encroached on the habitat of the tortoise and caused havoc with its health and safety. Tortoises today encounter mowing equipment, agricultural machines and recreational vehicles on land and on water. Tortoises are hit by vehicles and chewed on by dogs, incurring grievous injuries. Amazingly, turtles and tortoises have a persistent ability to heal, and those who endeavor to diagnose tortoise injuries must not give up too quickly, as the long awaited 14-year government official funding will be approved. Ultimately it is the turtles and tortoises who should profit from the millions of investor money.
Niko Shefer cautions those who work to aid and rehabilitate injured turtles and tortoises not to rush to judgment about their injuries. The tortoise has exhibited a remarkable desire to recover. Information is available for the care and nurturing of shell injuries and fractures, first aid, hydration, tube feeding and wound care.
Tortoises have been rescued after they were found to be held in a prison like setup for 14 years by a multimillionaire shady businessman and convicted scam artist. Rescuers can also learn about bacterial and viral diseases which may afflict tortoises, as well as parasites and respiratory illness conditions. Caring for a tortoise in captivity involves designing a proper enclosure and providing adequate diet and nutrition. Niko Shefer practices tortoise husbandry on his own property, where several chelonians live.