Because of all the CHEETAHS!
Namibia has the highest population of cheetahs in the world, at around 3,000 of the estimated 12,000 left. That’s about 25% of the world’s cheetah population. However, 90% of Namibia’s cheetahs live on privately owned farmland, which creates conflict between the farmers trying to “save” their livestock and the cheetahs who need habitat. In reality, only about 3% of the cheetahs’ diet consists of livestock. Cheetahs, being a daytime hunter, gets largely blamed for nocturnal large cat kills.
The CCF has made wonderful progress with educating the farming community about the cheetah, as well as with cheetah interaction prevention. By keeping large guard dogs on the farm, cheetahs will stay away from the livestock. Cheetahs are made for speed, not confrontation. In 1994, CCF started an Anatolian guard dog program, where they breed and teach puppies to protect livestock. With the help of the guard dogs, farmers can be assured that cheetahs will not be interfering with their livelihood.
In Namibia, farmers can legally kill any cheetahs that they believe have killed their animals. Cheetahs are very tame creatures that keep close to their play trees (a tree with low branches/ a bent trunk which cheetahs can jump on), and thus are very easy to capture with a cage trap, making them easy to kill. Although Namibia is getting much better with their conservation efforts, as seen with the Etosha Natural Park for example, there is much more that can be done. Changing this law is the first step for the cheetah’s survival in Namibia. Fortunately, CCF has been extremely successful in offering farmers alternative livestock management techniques by setting an example of coexistence with cheetahs.
To learn more about CCF and its volunteering opportunities, visit cheetah.org.
You can even sponsor a guard puppy or a cheetah!