The global cheetah population stands at about 12,000 individuals and every effort to conserve them is always welcome. In this issue of WildlifeDirect News, we highlight the first ever structured cheetah re-introduction attempt in Namibia. We also inform you of the exciting new book edited by Dr Lucy Spelman, give you a brief profile of the author’s work at MGVP, and serve you a snapshot of recent news from our blogs. Read on and enjoy this sumptuous serving of news.
Cheetahs Transfered into the Wild in Namibia
This is the first structured re-introduction of cheetahs
On Sunday 20 July 2008, history was made when five habituated cheetahs were re-introduced into the NamibRand Nature Reserve in southwest Namibia after 30 years of their absence from the reserve. This is the first time a structured re-introduction of cheetahs into the Reserve is being attempted.
A film crew consisting of a team from Gecko Productions is filming the re-introduction for the UK-based Channel 5 TV and the documentary will be out soon.
Follow the developments of this exciting project on the Cheetah Conservation Fund Blog and leave your comments, ask questions and let them know what you think.
Blogs in Focus: MGVP
Welcome to “Blogs in Focus”
Each month we will highlight critical issues covered on the Wildlife Direct website. This section will provide an opportunity to briefly “meet” the blog authors and, in some cases, discover how they became so invested in wildlife and environmental conservation efforts.
Gorillas, Our Critically Endangered Relatives
A two-month old baby gorilla clings to his mother. It is unclear if he knows that she has just been assassinated.
Fast forward one year latter.
Ndakasi and Ndeze chase each other, stopping every now and again to eat wild celery. These adorable infants seem happy with their temporary human caretakers at the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP). It is difficult to imagine the trauma they have experienced in their short lives and that only a few months ago their survival seemed impossible. To learn more about them click here.
Several blogs on WildlifeDirect address critical efforts to save the Great Apes. One follows the work of the MGVP, which specializes in “a one-health team-oriented approach to gorilla medicine.” In addition to rescuing and caring for confiscated and orphaned primates, they monitor the health of known mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda, and the DRC. The organization’s field work is led by Dr. Lucy Spelman who is the Regional Vet Manager as well as Blogger-in-Chief for “Gorilla Doctors.” Based in Rwanda, Dr. Lucy takes readers on truly memorable journeys of her most remarkable team, and their even more remarkable patients.
You can follow the exploits of the MGVP team here. - Reporting by Christine Cichetti
Book Review: The Rhino With Glued-on Shoes
An eel walks into a bar…Debugging a bug…Health care for dragons…
Although these may sound like lead-ins for some silly animal jokes, they are actually just some of the topics described in Lucy Spelman, DVM, and Ted Mashima’s, DVM new book, ‘The Rhino with the Glue-On Shoes.’ ‘Rhino,’ captures the stories of 29 wildlife vets and their remarkable, and sometimes strange patients.
Read Christine Cichetti‘s review of this exciting new book here. Buy the book and support conservation.
Things you need to know…
- Gorilla Murders first anniversary: 22 July 2008 marked the first year of the Gorilla Murders at the Virungas. Read the commemorative post here.
- US’s Environmental Protection Agency has banned traces of carbofuran in food thus potentially stopping agricultural use of the pesticide. Read about this and our efforts to get the pesticide banned in Kenya here.
- The Born Free Foundation have launched a campaign to rehabilitate a caged Ethiopian lion named Dolo. Read more here and donate
- The Lion Guardians are running a campaign aimed at securing sponsorship for each of the nine Masai morans. Read more and ask them questions here and sponsor a lion guardian.
How You Can Help
Global warming, starving refugees, and saving wildlife from extinction can be very daunting tasks. It is difficult to see how you, as an individual, can make a difference. But sometimes it is the smallest gestures that make all the difference. At WildlifeDirect, each contribution, however small, has an impact: your $10 could feed a hungry orphaned bonobo infant at Lola Ya Bonobo, or provide rations to a ranger deep in the Congo jungle for Gorilla Protection. Even when you don’t give money, just interacting with the bloggers is reassuring. When they know that there is a community out there that cares, they wake up each morning with resolve to make a difference. And they do.
Now that you want to help, here are just some of the ways YOU can make a difference, starting today:
- Read the blogs and interact with the bloggers
- Donate through the individual blogs
- Be a Virtual Volunteer (helping with blogs, the newsletter, doing translations, etc)
- Bring attention to important issues by contacting your legislators and community leaders
- When internet shopping, sign up at IGive.com and register under WildlifeDirect to help generate donations through purchases
- Tell everyone you know about WildlifeDirect and the great work they do!
We thank Christine Cichetti for her support in producing this newsletter. To know more about the projects featured here, go to their respective blogs. To support our work go to ourhome page and donate using the Support Wildlife Directbutton on top left of the page or visit the Baraza blog.