C.A.R.E. was established by Rita Miljo in 1989 as a rehabilitation centre for injured indigenous wildlife. The Centre is situated on the banks of the Olifants River near to Phalaborwa in the Northern Province of South Africa, bordering the greater Kruger Park area.
Initially the centre cared for diverse small mammals - Bushbabies, civets, warthogs, duikers, porcupines - and reptiles and birds. Treating them, then releasing them back to the wild.
Increasing numbers of orphaned, injured, abused and traumatised chacma baboons (papio cynocephalus ursinus) were handed to C.A.R.E. Despite being a CITES Appendix II listed animal, they are offered little protection under South African law. Agricultural encroachment has resulted in reduced areas of habitat, and where crops are threatened the farmer has the right to remove the offending animals by any means.
Other hazards such as power lines, pylons, veld fires, habitat destruction, poisoning, poaching, illegal pet trade, foreign trade in wildlife, road accidents, culling, and hunting added to the tally.
No other wildlife facilities were available in the country for the rehabilitation of these orphans, so Rita Miljo, the director, began to develop specific expertise in the nurturing of these animals, and baboons became the prime focus of C.A.R.E.'s work.