Help Dogs Save Cats

 
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Jun 13, 2012

Dogs Protecting Goats to Save Cheetahs

Boer Goat
Boer Goat
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!
The newest life at CCF does not purr and lick, nor does it bark or scratch.  These week-old creatures have disproportionately large ears, gangly and unsteady limbs, vast orb-like eyes, and tiny, pink cloven hooves.  When they aren’t sleeping or drinking milk from their protective mothers, they are gamboling and capering around their pen, attempting to butt heads or jump onto higher surfaces, and – spoiler alert – making the most heart-melting bahh-ing sounds.  CCF is happy to announce the birth of six indigenous Boer goat kids!
The six kids (5 females and 1 male) were born to three healthy Boer does.  There were no complications during any of the births and all mothers instinctively began to clean, feed, and examine their kids.  The kids all have white bodies and either milk or dark chocolate colored heads.  They are all spry and inquisitive, exploring and frolicking until they collapse into a pile and sleep.     
Though birth in the kraal is met with less fanfare than most cheetah news, it is in fact an illustration of what makes the Cheetah Conservation Fund an internationally recognized centre of excellence: CCF is committed to developing the best practices in education, land use and conservation to benefit all species, including humans.  CCF is dedicated to teaching and working with farmers harmoniously, as well as leading by example.  The livestock farm at CCF’s headquarters Namibia is a model farm used to exhibit techniques and practices by which livestock and wildlife can be properly managed, eliminating the need for farmers and ranchers to kill wild cheetah.  The kraal at CCF is currently home to Boer goats, Damara sheep, mixed-breeds of dairy goat, and the Anatolian shepherds and Kangal dogs who guard the flock both inside the kraal and out in the field. 

Boer goats were developed in South Africa in the early 1900’s for meat production and were therefore the logical choice of breed for this model Namibian farm.  CCF’s model farm exemplifies the predator-friendly livestock management techniques of establishing calving seasons, using calving kraals, having herders, and using dogs as livestock guardians, to name a few.  The success of the model farm demonstrates that wild cheetah can continue to live on Namibian farmland without hindering the farmers’ way of life or harming their livelihood.  CCF is encouraged that there is now far greater awareness of the cheetah's role in the ecosystem, and an increasing number of farmers adopt predator-friendly livestock management practices and fewer cheetahs are being killed.  While these new lives have started without ceremony or drama, as is the natural way, their healthy birth and their symbolic role in the Cheetah Conservation Fund is concomitantly a celebration of the prosperous future of the wild cheetah.

Links:

May 11, 2012

Honor Your Mother and Kiri with a Gift Through Global Giving

Kangal puppy playing
Kangal puppy playing
You might remember that Kiri is a Kangal that gave birth to eight puppies on 31 January. She was bred to CCF’s Kangal Firat, who was kindly donated to us by French breeder Bonnie Blue Flag.
I met Kiri’s eight puppies during my visit to CCF a couple of weeks ago. I feel lucky to have met them because they were just about to be placed within a few days of my departure! They are beautiful, very healthy, and definitely a handful!!!
In late March, the puppies underwent their routine sterilization surgeries.  Only some of the puppies in the litter were sterilized since a few will go on to be future breeding animals for CCF’s livestock guarding dog program.  Our vet Gaby explained the procedure to me. “The puppies first received a full physical exam to ensure they are healthy enough for surgery.  Then they were anaesthetized, given oxygen and anaesthetic gas via an endotracheal tube, and attached to anaesthesia monitoring equipment like a temperature probe, an ECG, a pulse oximeter, and a blood pressure monitor, just like in a human hospital!  The puppies also have an IV catheter placed and receive IV fluids to keep them well hydrated during the surgery.  A microchip transponder is inserted under their skin for future identification, and blood samples are taken for genetic analysis and general health evaluation.”  All the procedures went well, and the puppies were back in the kraal with their mom in no time.
As Kiri does not belong to CCF, half of her litter went to her owners, who took two of the puppies to their farm and placed two with friends as working dogs.  Of the four CCF puppies from the litter, two were placed as working dogs, while a male and a female will be breeding dogs because their genetics are quite valuable. 
We wish all these puppies a happy and healthy life saving cheetahs!
Kangal puppy placed
Kangal puppy placed

Links:

Mar 5, 2012

Kangal Puppies Growing Strong and Healthy

Kangal 3
Kangal 3

Kiri's litter of eight Kangal puppies born on 31 January is growing fast!

Last week they all started opening their eyes, they took their first steps,
had their first meal of "solid" food, and received their first dose of
de-worming medication. Kiri is a proud mother, and watches on as her puppies
grow and become more independent. The puppies are playful and full of
mischief, and are already starting to have individual personalities. They
will stay at CCF until they are nine weeks old, at which time we will hold
the usual "Puppy Day" to train farmers that have been selected to receive
the puppies to help keep their livestock safe from predators

 

Learn more about CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Program and the link below:

https://www.cheetah.org/?nd=donate_detail&donation_id=7

Keep up to date with new happenings at CCF.  Subscribe to our Blog!

http://cheetahupdates.blogspot.com/

Kangal 2
Kangal 2

Links:

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:

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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Organization

Project Leader

Shannon Sharp

Operations Director
Alexandria, VA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Help Dogs Save Cats