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
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