The Houston Zoo loves its cheetahs and wants to do everything we can to protect them in the wild.
The Houston Zoo supports cheetah protection efforts in Africa through:
The Ruaha Carnivore Project’s Livestock guarding dog program:
Cheetahs will go after easy prey, and local farmer’s cows and goats are just that. Around a third of all livestock attacks occur on livestock grazing out in the bush, and specialized breeds of guarding dogs have long been used across Europe to prevent such attacks. These dogs have worked successfully in other parts of Africa, but had never been trialed in East Africa, so Ruaha Carnivore Project is now conducting the first trial to test their effectiveness at preventing attacks around Ruaha, Tansania.
Status at start of 2014:
- 4 Anatolian Shepherds were placed with local farmers
- Staff member trained in the use of guarding dogs
5-year aims (by end of 2018):
How the Houston Zoo helps:
- At least 20 Anatolian Shepherd dogs placed, as well as 20 village dogs and 10 mixed breed dogs (village-Anatolian shepherd crosses) by the end of 5 years
- Establish a small kennel at camp and a breeding program
- Have at least 3 staff members trained in the use of guarding dogs
- Write up paper on cost-effectiveness of guarding dogs in this landscape
- If seeing success, work with colleagues in other projects to extend method elsewhere in Africa
Donate now to help cheetahs in the wild:
- Assisting with the creation of the Ruaha Carnivore Project’s newsletter.
- Offer funding for operating support and educational programming.
- We demonstrate the use of guard dogs to protect livestock from predators (like cheetahs) in Africa through the display of our Anatolian shepherd who lives with our cheetahs here at the Houston Zoo!