Animals
 Namibia
Project #2578

Help Dogs Save Cats

by Cheetah Conservation Fund
Entrance
Entrance
Back in June, a group from the Klein Karas Community in southern Namibia spent three days with us here at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) to learn about integrated livestock management and alternative livelihoods. The Klein Karas Community is located in the Greater Fish River Canyon Landscape and is the only rural community in this area. Whilst at CCF, the group learned how to identify predators, how to manage their livestock to reduce conflict, and also about our organic garden and goat milk production.
Their visit was funded by The Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas Initiative (NAM-PLACE), which is a five year project established by The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), with co-financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the Implementing Agency.

The week following their training visit my colleagues, Tyapa and Chavoux, made the long drive south to deliver a livestock guarding dog puppy and two milk goat bucks to further benefit their project. And now it was time for the follow up visit to check everything was going well and the animals were fit and healthy.
At 5am Tyapa and I pulled out of the gates of CCF to start our journey. It’s close to 1000km each way so this early start was indeed necessary. I have to say the stop for coffee in Otjiwarongo was very welcome indeed. By taking it in turns to drive we covered the distance quite easily but we did arrive after dark. A hot shower, some food and a good night’s sleep were in order before our visit to the community the next day
We met with Josef Swartbooi who looks after the livestock guarding dog puppy and who is also one of the community leaders. He said they were very happy with the dogs’ progress and felt he was a great addition to the herd. The puppy was clearly very well looked after and had bonded extremely well with the goats he was growing to protect. Everywhere they went, he followed, with his tail in the air and with a jaunty little step. I think he will grow to be a fine guarding dog for the community goat herds.
We also had a chance to catch up with the breeding dairy goat bucks who have definitely grown in the past few weeks. They were happy to come over for a stroke and looked in fine condition. They have not yet been used to breed with the females but this should happen in the next month or so.
Overall, we had a great visit. This whole area is beautiful and so very different to the north of Nambia. I look forward to our next follow up visit in October when we hope to meet with the elders and more members of the community to work out how we can further assist them with their development plans

Klein Karas 2
Klein Karas 2
Guarding Dog
Guarding Dog
Working with the herd
Working with the herd

Links:

Kiri
Kiri's puppies

Kiri's litter of eight Kangal puppies born on 31.  It's almost time for CCF's puppies to be placed with Namibian farmers to begin their work as Livestock Guarding Dogs. Kiri's litter is getting ready for Puppy Day!  On this day, farmers will receive their new guarding dog.

Farmers who receive a CCF dog must go through training to learn how to utilize the dog effectively with their herd, and we visit the dogs after placement to ensure that they are doing well in their new homes. The dogs and the farmers are usually very successful!

Over 100 Livestock Guarding Dogs currently working with Namibian Farmers. Farmers using a CCF dog see their predation rates go down from all predators by over 80 percent.

Links:

A Very Special Birth
A Very Special Birth

The Next Generation of Protectors....

When one of our Livestock Guarding Dogs gives birth to a litter of puppies, it’s always a cause for celebration. Over the years we’ve placed over 400 Anatolian shepherd and Kangal dogs with Namibian farmers, and as they watch over their herds, they provide better livelihoods for these farmers, resulting in a significant reduction in the trapping and killing of cheetahs.

Every new puppy is another protector, another friend to the cheetah.

Our most recent litter, however, is special for another reason.

Cappuccino is an Anatolian shepherd. Around here we call her “Cheena.” In 2010, her mother, CCF’s Anatolian Uschi, was bred to an Anatolian male from the United States named Zor. Zor and Uschi never actually met, however. The breeding was accomplished via artificial insemination, and Cappuccino was one of the three puppies born from the breeding two and a half years ago.

Because Cappuccino’s bloodlines are so important, CCF wanted to make sure that she had a very special home. The U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, who had just lost a dog of her own prior to her arrival in Namibia, offered her home in Windhoek to Cappuccino. Cappuccino now lives with the Ambassador and her husband, serving as an ambassador in her own right for CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dogs.

Cappuccino gave birth to a litter of puppies -- four males and four females -- on 16 February 2013. She is the first dog ever in Namibia that as the product of an artificial insemination has successfully given birth to a litter of puppies.

Both mom and puppies are doing well. At a week old their eyes and ears are not yet open, and they depend on Cheena for her warmth and nutritious milk. They stay close to her throughout the day and soon they will be moved to CCF’s Conservation Education and Research Centre to begin their journey as Livestock Guarding Dogs.

While we are excited by the possibilities that this milestone represents from a breeding perspective, we are even more thrilled to welcome eight new little protectors to the ranks of our Livestock Guarding Dog Programme.

For cheetahs everywhere,
 
Dr. Laurie Marker
Founder and Executive Director

Links:

Puppies Taking it Easy
Puppies Taking it Easy
On November 15th, our intrepid little explorers made their biggest move yet of their young lives. A day trip out into the large, enclosed grazing area next to the kraal! They weren’t too sure at first and didn’t even want to follow mom, Aleya. After much encouragement (and by that I mean having to carry them!), they were safely ensconced in their new environment. But they weren’t happy about being somewhere strange and, at first, tried to find a way out through the fence!
We left them for a while to settle in and to make friends with the dairy goats, and then all went quiet. Who needs a huge field when there’s a lovely spot of shade next to the water trough and under a lovely tree? These little guys aren’t stupid, that’s for sure.

They will spend every day for the next couple of weeks out here, getting used to a bigger area and being able to stretch those short, stumpy legs! Good training for when they go off to their new homes. We’ll keep you updated on their progress! 





Puppies Sleeping
Puppies Sleeping
Puppy Chewing
Puppy Chewing

Links:

Aleya and new puppy
Aleya and new puppy

Thank you for supporting the Cheetah Conservation Fund through Global Giving.  Global Giving is having a bonus day on October 17th.   Please consider giving a gift on this important day!

Your donation helps us do so much to help dogs save cats!

Aleya gave birth to six healthy puppies on 30 September 2012, right on her due date! All went well and both mother and puppies are doing just fine. These little ones will receive intensive care and training over the next

eight weeks until they are ready to be placed with local Namibian farmers and begin their lives as livestock guarding dogs. We are thrilled to have these new additions to our incredibly successful Livestock Guarding Dog Programme.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Cheetah Conservation Fund

Location: Alexandria, VA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.cheetah.org
Project Leader:
Shannon Sharp
Operations Director
Alexandria, VA United States

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