Mission: To deal with compromised or translocated dogs, for example dogs that have been injured in snares, on roads, by trade or ones that pose problems to human livestock farms.
Species: African hunting dog
Location: Zimbabwe, Africa
Amount donated: £3,250 to pay for 5 heavy duty well insulated chest freezers and their plumbing, which will be used to store dog food, drugs, medical supplies, and biopsy and disease samples at the facility.
Background: The Painted Dog Conservation Rehabilitation Facility became operational in October 2002. The facility has a seventy - acre main enclosure, plus smaller management areas for seriously injured dogs. These management areas are linked to facilitate movement of any dogs and allow for pack formation prior to release of any unrelated individuals. After release, these dogs are followed and monitored to ensure they survive in the wild. The project has also returned hand raised dogs to the wild – a first for this species!
Other elements of the project include educational programmes, with a childrens' bush camp and a school outreach programme. Staff are also employed in anti poaching teams. In total, staff members have collected over 8000 snares from surrounding areas, helping to benefit dog numbers but also other species. Road signs have also been erected and retro-reflective collars fitted to dogs to reduce road mortality.
Achievements: In October 2006, the Painted Dog Project released 16 wild dogs which were rescued from South Africa. The dogs spent five months in the project's rehabilitation facility and have now been released into Hwange national park. Since the release, teams have tracked the dogs to ensure that they are coping well in the wild. The Painted Dog childrens bush camp continued to educate children. During the 2006 season they hosted three local schools in a free of charge programme.
January 2006 saw the most significant anti poaching event take place since the first anti-poaching unit was set up in 2001. On the 19th January, two teams targeted villages with known poachers. In total, the police charged 38 people with poaching related offences. This project remains the only professionally run anti poaching unit in the region and is working alongside education and development programmes to bring about a long term change, working to prevent the poaching of wildlife species in the area.