This darling puppy is a Kangal, a breed originally from Turkey known for protecting livestock. He was raised by a breeder in Dallas. Long story short, The Cheetah Conservation Fund is introducing Kangals to farms in Namibia to keep farmers from shooting the wild cheetahs that kill their goats and sheep. Will Taylor, owner of The African Experience, is a Dallas-based wildlife expert, safari designer, and film maker. He once did a show for the Discovery Channel called Cats in Crisis. The documentary followed the life of a pup from birth to darting after cheetah in the wild. (Watch a short clip here.)Will said Hedi (left) has been donated to CCF and is leaving DFW on Monday and heading to Namibia. This is a made-for-TV-news moment if I ever read one. Will’s e-mail with more details of the story and contact info below.
UPDATE: Several people have requested more information on the Turkmen Kangal. Contact: Tamara Taylor, [email protected] Also, kangaldogs.blogspot.com; kangaldogs.com.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is a very effective effort to save the highly endangered cheetah in the wild, based in Namibia, Africa. It was founded by and still run by, an American woman Dr. Laurie Marker.
The CCF discovered that there were certain ancient breeds of dogs in Turkey that for centuries have been helping guard livestock (mostly sheep and goats) from predators such as bears and wolves. These dogs are put in with the goats when they are puppies, and literally grow up thinking they are part of the flock. The CCF initiated a program in Namibia where they started Breeding Anatolian Shepherds and Kangals (the two breeds of dog) and raising them as guard dogs. The highest mortality of cheetahs in the wild is caused by farmers trapping and shooting them because they lose livestock to the nomadic cheetahs.
CCF started placing dogs with cooperative farmers and the mortality of livestock went down 100%! Cheetahs are such specialized and fragile predators that they want no part of messing with other strong predatory animals, so when they approach a flock and one of the “sheep” come flying at them with gnashing teeth and loud barks they high tail it – So the benefit is also that it is non lethal to the cheetahs too.
Will Taylor, [email protected]