- Title: Kosovo's animal whisperer rescues injured wildlife
- Date: 20th December 2019
- Summary: OSEK-HILE, KOSOVO (DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) INJURED WOLF NAMED BOSS LYING IN SHED AT PRIVATE 'WOLF TRUMP' ZOO OWNED BY ANIMAL RESCUER HYSNI REXHAJ ANIMAL RESCUER AND OWNER OF ZOO, HYSNI REXHAJ, APPROACHING BOSS VARIOUS OF REXHAJ CALMING AND PETTING BOSS BOSS LOOKING ON (SOUNDBITE) (Albanian) ANIMAL RESCUER AND ZOO OWNER, HYSNI REXHAJ, SAYING: "My name is Hysni Rexhaj, I am 52 years old, I am an animal lover, whether domesticated or wild animals." (SOUNDBITE) (Albanian) ANIMAL RESCUER AND ZOO OWNER, HYSNI REXHAJ, SAYING: "This (ed's note: connection with animals) is a gift from God, whom I thank, this is why I do what I do to protect and help all animals domesticated and wild ones." REXHAJ TRAINING WOLF HE HAS NAMED RAMBO RAMBO OBEYING COMMANDS REXHAJ GIVING COMMANDS TO RAMBO RAMBO OBEYING COMMANDS (SOUNDBITE) (Albanian) ANIMAL RESCUER AND ZOO OWNER, HYSNI REXHAJ, SAYING: "People are left speechless when they see how the wolf obeys my orders, they call me a special man and they call me Kosovo's Mowgli (Ed's note. reference to character from Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Book')" WOLF NAMED TRUMP BY REXHAJ, AFTER U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, PLAYING BY FENCE REXHAJ'S FARM DEER STANDING IN PADDOCK, CHICKENS WALKING ON GRASS SHEEP BLEATING CHICKENS STANDING BY FENCE ROE DEER RAISED BY REXHAJ LOOKING THROUGH FENCE REXHAJ TALKING TO DEER DEER STANDING NEAR FENCE ZOO GROUNDS, VISITORS WALKING YOUNG GIRL LOOKING AT RABBITS VARIOUS BIRDS STANDING IN AND OUTSIDE CAGES CHICKENS LOOKING THROUGH FENCE FAMILY VISITING ZOO VARIOUS OF REXHAJ PETTING FOX FOX'S PAW VARIOUS OF REXHAJ PETTING, KISSING FOX PEACOCKS RESTING ON ROOF EGRET (WHITE WATER BIRD) APPROACHING FENCE AS REXHAJ WALKS BY EGRET WITH BROKEN WING FOLLOWING REXHAJ BIRD FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS FROM REXHAJ REXHAJ WATCHING EMU IN YARD REXHAJ PETTING AND KISSING EMU
- Embargoed: 3rd January 2020 09:05
- Keywords: Kosovo animal rescue injured animals private zoo wolf trump zoo trump
- Location: OSEK-HILE, KOSOVO
- City: OSEK-HILE, KOSOVO
- Country: Kosovo
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAS43TL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: An 'animal whisperer' in Kosovo's rural south-west is a source of hope for injured wildlife in the country.
Hysni Rexhaj, a 52-year-old farmer, receives messages from people through social media telling him about injured animals, which he rescues and shelters at a private zoo on his farm.
Kosovo has no state institution that provides aid for injured wild animals and illegal wood cutting has forced many of them to abandon their natural habitat.
Among his latest patients is an eight month-old wolf who survived a car crash, a fox that was shot by hunters, a water bird called an egret with a broken wing and a baby deer that he raised after its mother drowned.
Rexhaj said he is thankful to God for what he says is an ability to communicate with wolves and other animals.
He said people are "speechless" when they see the animals obeying his commands, and said they compared him to Mowgli, the character in Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Book' who grew up surrounded by wild animals in the jungle.
Aside from its wilder residents, others including chickens, pigeons, horses, cows, peacocks, and an emu have found new homes on Rexhaj's farm, which he supports through his farming and charging visitors one euro for entry.
According to Rexhaj, he tries to release animals that have recovered into the wild and keeps the ones that cannot survive on their own in his zoo.
Rexhaj first came to widespread attention in 2017 when he named one of the wolves at the zoo after U.S. President Donald Trump as a sign of gratitude to Washington as one of Kosovo's closest allies.
In turn, the zoo is now known as 'Wolf Trump' zoo.
(Production: Bardh Krasniqi, Dominik Starosz)
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