Cheetah Conservation Fund

To be the internationally recognized centre of excellence in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. CCF will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people. CCF works to: create and manage long-term conservation strategies for the cheetah; develop and implement livestock management practices that eliminate the need for ranchers to kill cheetah; conduct education programs for locals; continue research in genetics, biology, species survival
Sep 11, 2012

Livestock Guarding Dog Programme Success

Our Friend Shades
Our Friend Shades

Our Livestock Guarding Dog Programme is so successful in part because of our thorough concern and assistance for the dogs throughout their lifespan, and in recent months, we’ve seen that demonstrated clearly.

Our first litter of Kangals has been placed. Placement with a farmer happens when a puppy is eight weeks old. The young dog stays with younger livestock for the first few weeks. A three months, the dog will go out with the herder and the livestock to begin habituating it to the behaviour of the livestock and wild animals. Farmers must participate in training programmes on how to work with the dogs and make them effective livestock guarding dogs. A well-trained, well-cared-for Anatolian shepherd or Kangal is an imposing barrier against the predation of its herd.

Over the past few months, our LSGD team, Gebhardt Nikanor and Anja Bradley, has been visiting CCF dogs in the Otavi, Tsumeb, and Kamanjab districts near CCF. During these regular visits we talk to the farmers and herders about the dog, and have them answer questionnaires about the dogs’ performance and health. We also apply routine vaccinations and provide medical supplies to help ensure that the dogs’ health is a priority.

Occasionally, we find dogs that for various reasons, are in poor health or exhibiting poor performance. These dogs are removed from that specific farm, evaluated, and placed on another farm if appropriate. When a dog is unable to continue working, a home is found for the dog as a companion animal. When our own CCF dogs are retired, they live out the rest of their lives here at CCF as a valued member of our community.

We are sad because this month we lost Shades, an Anatolian shepherd who had been protecting

CCF’s own kraal of goats for over 12 years.  Shades had been retired, but still lived in the kraal–such was his bond with his former charges. His health deteriorated rapidly and as he was in great distress, Shades was euthanised. We all miss him terribly.

 But, as they say, the circle of life continues, and on Friday, 10 August, one of CCF’s Kangal dogs, Feliz, gave birth to six puppies, three male and three female. Sadly one of the males was stillborn, but the remaining five will become part of our growing and successful LSGD programme!

CCF
CCF's Kangal Feliz and her puppies with CCF staff

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Sep 11, 2012

When Orphan Cheetahs Run Wild

Into the Wild!
Into the Wild!

Although the Cheetah Conservation Fund is currently home to 45 captive cheetahs, our organisation’s main
focus is not keeping cheetahs in captivity. That said,when a cheetah is orphaned at a very young age, there
are no other alternatives except captivity. These cheetahs would be unable to care for themselves and learn the skills a wild cheetah needs to survive. However,CCF has shown that some of the orphan cheetahs which have had enough experience living in the wild with their mom do have a chance to return to the wild. CCF’s re-wilding programme was designed to maximise this chance and we have successfully reintroduced a number of cheetahs via this programme. At the end of June, the cheetahs we call the ‘Leopard Pen Boys’ (Omdillo, Anakin, Chester, and Obi Wan) were released into the 70,000 hectare Erindi Private Game Reserve, beginning their life anew in the wild as part of CCF’s re-wilding programme. Earlier in the spring, these four males were released in CCF’s 4,000-ha training camp and closely monitored to see if they were demonstrating adequate hunting skills and instincts to warrant release into the wild. The Leopard Pen Boys performed well in the training camp, and it was agreed they should be released when an appropriate opportunity was found.

Fortunately, Erindi Private Game Reserve agreed to provide Omdillo, Anakin, Chester and Obi Wan a new home. Erindi is already home to two of CCF’s re-wilded female cheetahs: Chanel and Hershey, released there in early January 2011. On Wednesday 27 June, the four cheetahs were darted and fitted with VHF radio collars, which will be used to track and monitor the cheetahs to ensure their continued success. The following day the cats were crated and loaded onto a truck at CCF and taken south to Erindi. After a long drive on a dusty dirt road, they arrived at the release site; an open area with large trees, a giant termite mound and a watering hole nearby. During the 14 days of the post-release monitoring, CCF’s research assistants, Ryan Sucaet and Soujanya Shrivastav, recorded the cheetahs’ positions throughout the Erindi Private Game Reserve, as they explored and marked their new territory. The re-wilding of the ‘Leopard Pen Boys’ has been successful so far. They have avoided resident male cheetahs and other predators. The next milestone in the wild would be to find females to mate with, completing the success of this re-wilding by fostering a new generation of cheetahs in the Erindi Private Game Reserve.

The Leopard Boys enjoy a meal in their new home
The Leopard Boys enjoy a meal in their new home

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Jun 13, 2012

Dental Exams Help Cheetahs Eat

Cheetah at Dentist 1
Cheetah at Dentist 1

Donate today, and tell your friends!  Today, June 13th, is a Globalgiving bonus day! Make a gift to CCF through Globalgiving today, and CCF will receive a 50% match!

On May 23rd, two of our older captive cheetahs went to Otjiwarongo to see a human dentist, Dr. Dennis Profitt.  We are very fortunate to have the generous and gracious Dr. Profitt available to perform dental work on all our cheetahs with dental issues in order to help keep their teeth as healthy as possible. 

 

The two most recent treatments were two extractions and a root canal for Rosy, and two extractions for Misty.  Most often when a tooth is broken or damaged, he will try to preserve the tooth by performing a root canal.  However, when advanced periodontal disease develops, which can be age-related or due to impaction of bone or foreign material between the gums and the teeth, the teeth will sometimes need to be extracted due to secondary infection and periodontal bone loss.   

 

Fortunately there are plenty of teeth in the mouth, and despite having a few extractions these two cheetah females will go on being able to eat with no long-term problems.  In fact, removing and treating the infected teeth will reduce oral pain and inflammation and make them much more comfortable in the long run.  And they will still have pretty smiles!  Thank you Dr. Profitt for your on-going generosity and care of CCF’s cheetahs.

Cheetah at Dentist 2
Cheetah at Dentist 2

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