TIKA Delegation and Laurie
OTJIWARONGO, NAMIBIA (20 Feb. 2017) – A delegation representing the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) visited Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) Tuesday, 7 February, 2017, to view a shelter and enclosure TIKA recently donated to CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog (LGD) Programme. The structure was designed to house 3 adult breeding dogs and their puppies residing at CCF’s Field Research and Education Centre. CCF’s LDG Programme uses two rare Turkish breeds, the Anatolian Shepherd and the Kangal, which have been relied upon for thousands of years to guard livestock in Turkey. In Namibia, the dogs serve farmers in a similar role, protecting small stock from cheetahs and other predators.
The visiting delegation included H.E. Serdar Çam, TIKA President; H.E. Mrs. Deniz Cakar, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey; and Mr. Cüneyt Esmer, TIKA Namibia Country Director. The dignitaries toured CCF, visiting the new structure and stopping to take photos with many of the working dogs and a litter of six- week-old puppies. The guests also viewed cheetahs, the species that LGD’s are charged with protecting, at CCF’s adjacent Cheetah Sanctuary.
Since 1994, CCF has provided LGDs to farmers as non-lethal tools for controlling predation. The dogs are specially trained to guard small stock on farmlands, serving as a buffer between goats and sheep and predators like the cheetah, hyena and African wild dog. The two breeds were chosen because of their success guarding livestock in Turkey, a country with similar terrain and climate, and for their large size, loud bark and fiercely protective nature.
“We are very grateful to our friends at TIKA for making this generous donation to support our work, their second”, said Dr Laurie Marker, CCF Founder and Executive Director. “In addition to the new dog shelter and enclosure, TIKA also gave us a truck in 2015 that we use to deliver puppies and to visit farms regularly for health check-ups and to administer veterinary care, if needed. With TIKA’s assistance, we are better able to keep up with demand for our dogs, as well as provide for their ongoing care”.
CCF has placed more than 600 dogs with Namibian farmers since the programme began in 1994, and is on track to deliver another 50 puppies in 2017. The dogs are credited with saving hundreds of cheetah lives since the LGD programme began, as well as the lives of other predators and small stock.
TIKA was established in 1992 to serve as an implementing intermediary of Turkish foreign policy. The agency supports projects on five continents in 120 countries. TIKA maintains 50 Programme Coordination Offices in 48 partner counties, including one in Windhoek. TIKA President Çam expressed interest in assisting CCF more with its model farm and providing workshops for livestock breeding to train more people in the agriculture sector. CCF hopes to work with the organisation to make this happen in the future.
Additional photos are available by request. For more information about CCF and its Livestock Guarding Dog Programme, please visit www.cheetah.org.