Donate US

 photo cub_buttonUSA_zps260251ee.png  photo cub_buttonAllOther_zps266319dc.png

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Farmers’ Training Days and Dog Visits – an update from the Livestock Guarding Dog Team

The CCF Livestock Guarding Dog team has been on the road this August to visit all the dogs born last year to ensure their health and progress on the farms where they were placed. Additionally, we were invited to talk at farmers’ days about predators, livestock and good farm management.

On the 18 August, Gebhardt Nikanor accompanied by Kenneth (student intern) travelled to the far east of the country, close to the border of Botswana, to talk to the communal farmers in the area about predators. CCF was invited to this day by another NGO working in this community on rangeland and natural resource management and they requested our assistance in addressing predators as part of the natural ecosystem. Gebhardt was enthusiastically received by 20 people representing households in these communities and he presented a predator and kill identification workshop, with an emphasis on reducing livestock losses to predators. Following the farmers’ day, he visited the one-year old dogs in the eastern side of the country and reported that they are looking good and working well.

The CCF team conducting the kill identification workshop with communal farmers.
Farmers attending the workshop in eastern Namibian communal lands.
On the 23 August, Gail Potgieter accompanied by Nancy Boynton (volunteer) headed out to the western side of Namibia to visit the dogs placed in this area last year. All of the dogs were doing well and in good condition. This trip was combined with a farmers’ information day held by the Omkhaibasen Farmers’ Co-operative near the town of Usakos. Gail spoke to the farmers about predators, kill identification, livestock management and livestock guarding dogs.

The farmers and speakers at the Omkhaibasen Farmers’ Co-operative training day
CCF’s Farmer of the Year 2011, Isak Ouseb, organised the farmers’ training day and invited CCF to talk. Mr. Ouseb also has two CCF livestock guarding dogs working with the co-operative’s herds of goats and sheep and they are both doing exceptionally well. One of the dogs, Fabiana, was given to the co-operative after she was confiscated from another farm due to malnourishment. This dog is now happy and healthy, having made the co-operative her new home.

Fabiana at her new home.

The CCF Livestock Guarding Dog Programme Team

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fire in the CCF neighbourhood!

We spent most of yesterday fighting fire on the farm Lamont, which is in the middle of (or between) two of our farms, Boskop and Cheetah View. We were able to help contain it and it only got on a bit of Boskop, but luckily we had made fire breaks a few weeks before on all our farms. This saved our lands. Fire breaks are like roads that are along our fence lines –-they are critical to helping contain fires.
View of Farm Lamont
Cleaning the firebreaks annually is a big job, but also a very important one. Most all of the farm Lamont burned, so our neighbors will not have any grazing on that farm this year. It is very dry now, and due to the heavy rains during the early part of the year, there is a lot of standing tall grass. August and September has a lot of high wind days and then there are also lightning storms that will take place in September and October when the short rains might come (I say might, as sometimes we don’t get rain). So, over the next couple months we are on high alert for fires.
One of Penda's puppies being shown to his meal.
Also yesterday Penda's puppies were introduced to solid food! Earthwatch Volunteer, Valentina Prott, helped with feeding the 3 week-old puppies. The puppy food was mixed with warm water, milk and whey and made into a paste that the puppies could easily lap up. They all enjoyed it and will receive this feeding once daily for few days and then later the frequency of feedings will increase.


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Klein's treatment continues

At the dentist
On 22 August, Klein, an 11-year old male cheetah, went to see the dentist for several root canal treatments on his canine teeth. as you know, Klein also has an ongoing condition called dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin, caused in his case by a Herpes virus infection. The skin problem is mainly on his left front and left back legs, and he has been being treated for this condition for over two years now. Various treatments have been tried, and the problem will get better and worse and better again over time.

Klein getting his cryotherapy treatment.
Currently Klein has a bad flare-up of the skin inflammation with secondary bacterial infection as well, and so he was also treated with cryotherapy during his dental appointment. Cryotherapy actually freezes the skin cells that are abnormal and inflamed, and helps the normal skin cells underneath to heal and replace the damaged cells. Hopefully after the cryotherapy and with proper antibiotic and anti-Herpes virus treatment, his skin will eventually heal completely.


Gabriella Flacke, DVM, MVSc

Friday, 19 August 2011

Final Count: >4500 Animals; 27 Species!

We have just completed all our annual game counts for 2011! During the strip and waterhole counts we recorded over 4500 animals from 27 different species. We had another rhino sighing during our strip counts as well as an aardvark in broad daylight and a male ostrich with chicks.

Volunteers have been so valuable in helping enter and check all the data collected. We hope to start the analysis soon. We have now begun estimating the visibility at either side of the strip count routes to help us determine strip width, which we use in one of the methods to calculate animal densities.

All our on-going research is continuing along nicely. The camera traps continue to take photos of cheetah at play trees as well as many other animals, Hi-Fi is still being monitored on a regular basis and has been hanging around CCF a few days this week. And our monthly game counts are happening with the help of the current Earthwatch team and other volunteers.

We have also welcomed a new year-long volunteer, Suzie, who is going to be helping mainly the ecology department. She will be assisting us with camera trapping but will also have a project of her own. We will keep you updated.



Monday, 15 August 2011

More Cheetahs to the Dentist

During CCF's annual cheetah health examinations earlier this year, dental work (e.g., root canals) was recommended for some of the cheetahs within a year. Rosy and Klein were the first to go to the dentist back in May.

Dr. Profitt treating Misty.
Misty's turn came up at the end of July, when we took her to see Dr. Profitt, a human dentist who has been helping us with our cheetah dental procedures for several years. Misty is just over 13 years old, which is quite senior for a cheetah, and thus had some wear and tear on her teeth that needed to be addressed. Most specifically she had three broken canine teeth (the long “eye” teeth) with exposure of the root canals. As any person who has ever had a broken tooth with root exposure knows, this can be a very painful condition. Furthermore, over time bacteria and dirt can get up into the root canal and cause and abscess at the base of the tooth. Misty was treated successfully at Dr Profitt's clinic in Otjiwarongo. She had three root canals performed in under an hour, and now has a healthy mouth and a pretty smile!

Misty's smile (c) Matt Cleverley, 2010.
Tempesta in the dentist's "chair."
Last Monday was Tempesta's turn. Tempesta, and older female cheetah (eight years old in July!) went for treatment of two fractured teeth. She had two fractured canine teeth with root exposure. The root canal treatments were uneventful, and now both of her canine teeth will be fully functional again.
Tempesta as a cub in August 2003.
Unfortunately, due to the normal wear and tear on the teeth caused by aging and eating bones, teeth will sometimes fracture (break), even in wild cheetahs. In the wild, animals don't receive dental care; thus a fractured tooth with root exposure would eventually develop an abscess at the base of the tooth and that tooth would likely fall out over time. Generally these animals are still able to eat, but some very old cheetahs (and other predators) might have trouble catching prey and/or eating if they have many damaged teeth over their lifetime. In the case of CCF's captive cheetahs, we perform dental exams annually and try to save as many teeth as we can!

Gabriella Flacke, DVM, MVSc

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

12 of CCF's Dairy Goats Confirmed Pregnant!

Last Friday the CCF vet team, assisted by volunteers, scanned 14 of CCF’s breeding dairy goats to find out if they were pregnant or not. Out of the 14, 12 of them are confirmed pregnant. This is a simple quick procedure requiring no sedation.

The ultrasound is a perfect tool to identify the foetuses. Only two of the goats did not indicate pregnancy; however this could be a little early on the gestation period to be able to detect the foetus. We will re-ultrasound these two goats in about a month.

Thanks so much to BCF Technology Ltd in the UK for discounting the price of this very useful machine, and to CCF supporter Mark C. for purchasing it and donating it to us!

Performing ultrasound on a cheetah at the CCF Clinic.
Rosie Glazier, DVN 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Meet Penda's Puppies

Hi everyone!

Yesterday, Penda gave birth to six healthy puppies; three males and three females. Penda is doing well and all the puppies are suckling and growing already.

Each day the puppies are weighed to check that they are putting on weight and developing properly. Penda is given extra food at this time to ensure that her puppies obtain all the nutrients that they need at this critical stage of their lives.


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Another birth at CCF: Susie, a dairy goat, gives birth.

Susie, a dairy goat of the herd at CCF gave birth to a healthy female kid yesterday.The little new-born will stay with Susie until about a week old, at which point CCF staff will bottle feed her to allow the milk from Susie to be used in CCF's cheese-making process.
Joeh, goat kraal manager, with Susie and her new-born female kid.
This is the fourth dairy goat born at CCF in 2011.

Rosie Glazier, DVN
Veterinary Nurse

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

New puppies due any moment...

Joeh, goat kraal manager, taking care of Penda
Penda, a 6 year-old Anatolian Shepherd cross, is due to give birth in the next couple of days.

The animal care and veterinary teams are working with student interns and volunteers to monitor Penda by taking her temperature twice daily. As soon as there is a drop in temperature we will know that within that day she will give birth to her litter. The volunteers will be involved in the daily care and monitoring of Penda and her puppies. Within a few weeks from birth, and prior to placement, CCF performs basic health treatments on the puppies such as de-worming and vaccinations, as well as sterilisations. These young dogs at around eight weeks of age will be placed on various farms in Namibia to serve as Livestock Guarding Dogs.

Penda - Waiting...
Penda has had many successful litters in the past. Her latest was in June 2010 when she raised nine healthy pups.

We will keep you posted.

Rosie Glazier, DVN
Veterinary Nurse

Monday, 1 August 2011

Ecology Team reporting: CCF's Annual 12-hour Waterhole Count

Last Saturday, 30 July, marked the 17th Annual Waterberg Conservancy Waterhole Count. This conservancy-wide count provides population and density estimates and trends for various game species throughout the Waterberg Conservancy farms. Through continued regular monitoring of wildlife populations utilising the Conservancy lands, more effective conservation of game species will be possible. Since the beginning of these counts in 1995, we have seen increases in most games species across the Conservancy farms.
Here at CCF we counted 25 waterholes across seven farms from 6am to 6pm. This year we had 50 participants helping with the counts, including 22 teachers from Miami University Ohio's Earth Expeditions, 16 students from Mesa Community College Arizona, 10 school kids from the Otjiwarongo Arts Centre, and CCF interns.

After an early morning, breakfast at 4:30 am, participants were driven out to their hides to start counting at 6am. They braved the cold and windy weather and finished the day in high spirits with a big smiles on their faces. For some of the participants from Otjiwarongo, this was their first opportunity to see a lot of these species in the flesh. In addition to baboons, giraffes, zebras and elands, highlights of the day included two different sightings of leopard and a sighting of one of black rhino.

Above: One of CCF's black rhinos sighted during the 12-hour waterhole count. Below: One of two leopard sightings.

This week we continue our annual game counts with transect counts across all our farms. We will drive over 300 km counting game on CCF property. We will keep you updated with any exciting results.

In other news, our resident wild cheetah HiFi made an oryx kill right by one of the cheetah pens near Lightfoot camp. One of CCF's interns found the kill in the morning, and photos from our camera trap a few hundred meters away captured HiFi, bloody faced and full bellied early that morning, confirming it was indeed him.
HiFi - camera trap image.

Cheetah greetings to all,