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
Dec 29, 2011

Eight Little Puppies - Born to Save Big Cats

Uschi with pups
Uschi with pups

It was the fourth day of November and the staff in Namibia was abuzz with the news that Uschi had finally given birth.They gathered around as Uschi, an Anotolian Shepherd, dutifully began licking, cleaning and preening her litter of eight little puppies. A litter of pups whose lives will be dedicated to the protection of Cheetahs.  Even before their birth, the future of these puppies had been preordained. From the day they entered the world they began training for their life’s purpose. These adorable newborns will play a role that greatly impacts the cheetah’s survival.

The litter is part of our Livestock Guard Dog Program, just one piece of CCF’s holistic approach to saving the cheetah.  Bred to watch over and protect livestock, these newborns will soon be given to livestock farmers to guard their herds, protecting them from cheetahs and other predators. 

In the passing weeks since their birth, the puppies have opened their eyes and have begun eating solid foods. Each is developing his or her own unique personality. While they are with us, their contact with people is limited. The purpose is to minimize their bond with humans, so they remain focused on their guarding instincts.

The Anatolian doesn't attack a predator, but rather wards them off with its loud barking. That barking is usually sufficient to chase off a cheetah, which is a nervous creature by nature. Of course, if necessary, these dogs will fight valiantly to protect their herd. If the dogs can keep the cheetahs away from the livestock, then it is less likely that a farmer will shoot or trap them. The Anatolian truly act as a diplomat between humans and cheetahs, enabling them to coexist.

 

 

In just a few more weeks, after they have been weaned from Uschi, the puppies will be delivered to their new homes at various livestock farms. The pups will live with the livestock that they will protect, creating an inseparable bond between dog and livestock. Soon, because of support like yours, these helpless puppies will grow into fearless protectors of livestock and, in essence, protectors of the cheetah.

 

To encourage farmers to take on the responsibility of another animal, we give them the dogs for free, provide training and provide free veterinary care. We are able to do this because of contributions like yours

 

Laurie L. Marker, DPhil

Founder and Executive Director

Uschi
Uschi's pups take a nap
Full grown livestock guard dog
Full grown livestock guard dog

Links:

Dec 19, 2011

Wild Mum

CCF has worked for two decades to teach farmers to coexist with cheetahs—and those efforts are paying dividends. A while back a livestock farmer became alarmed by the presence of a cheetah we later dubbed Wild Mumand her two cubs near his livestock kraal. Rather than killing them on site, the farmer trapped them and contacted CCF. A medical exam at our vet clinic revealed that Wild Mum had a badly infected broken tooth, which more than likely was why she had resorted to killing livestock insteadof wildlife. We had Wild Mum’s tooth repaired and fitted her with a satellite collar programmed to automatically drop off in five months. Then, Mum and her cubs were released on an unfenced portion of CCF’s property. When we knew the collar had dropped off, we wentto locate the collar. To our surprise, we sighted Wild Mum and found a new litter of three young cubs hidden securely in a bush. Her previous cubs must have struck out on their own, as all eventually do.  We hoped to be able to keep track of the cubs, but without their mother’s collar, that would prove difficult.  Just recently, though, this feline family was identified in a photo taken by a camera trap.  As infant mortality for cheetahs ranges from 75 to 95 percent, the fact that all three young ones are still alive is truly miraculous. As a result of your support, CCF’s efforts ensured five new cheetahs have a chance to blossom in the wild.

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Oct 12, 2011

Springtime in Namibia!

Worth his weight in gold
Worth his weight in gold

It's springtime in Namibia, and in addition to a slew of baby goats, we've had two litters of puppies at CCF and a third is "in the oven". The first group was recently vaccinated and spayed or neutered and given out to farmers around Namibia. (The farmers attend Puppy Day at CCF to learn how to take care of and train their new charge.) The next litter will follow soon. After nursing and caring for these little ones for two months, we all grow attached, but we know they are going on to do the greatest work--saving an endangered species. These adorable little pups will grow up to be so protective of their goat and sheep herds that they will fight to the death if they have to. Luckily they don't usually have to do more than bark. We have three new females at CCF as well as an intact female in the southern part of the country, so we hope to increase the number of litters we have each year. Even after giving out these three litters, we'll still have a waiting list of more than 100 farmers. Thank you for your support of this critical project! Please spread the word. 

A farmer picks up his pup from CCF
A farmer picks up his pup from CCF
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