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AfriCat Turns 21!

The Album: From Rescue & Release TO . . .  
Rehabilitation, Research, Conservation Through Education & Community Support! 

 intro leopardintro cheetahintro wilddogintro jackal

intro wilddogintro lion

meeting under treeafc cccp lionfarmers cattle kraal

'You've got the Key' . . . .  is the well-known adage when someone comes of 'age', when parents nostalgically page through photo albums, reminiscing childhood memories and the 21-year old can't wait to take on LIFE . . . . armed only with family values and the will to succeed out there in the big world!

For the past 21 years, AfriCat has been a toddler and a teen - stumbled, fallen and righted itself knowing that its parents, the HANSSEN family, were there to guide it to adulthood and beyond. As 'parents', we have, at times, worried and pondered about AfriCat's future as a credible conservation organization, having shifted from small beginnings as a farming family trying to find solutions to predator conflict on a small cattle farm in central Namibia, sharing our success story with others, which included using our research data and common sense to find ways to 'live with predators', then becoming a safe-haven to a number of persecuted cheetah, leopard, caracal, spotted and brown hyaena as well as to lion and wild dog. Almost 21 years on, with more than 100 carnivores in our Care Centre and little proof that those we had released had survived, the most disconcerting of all was that few commercial (free-hold) farmers had taken heed, except for using AfriCat as a keen collector of perceived or real 'problem' cheetah and leopard, filling our sanctuary with mostly healthy animals which should be allowed to roam free!

With the merging of Afri-Leo with AfriCat in 2010, the sister-organization based along the borders of the Etosha National Park brought with it elements of human-wildlife conflict mitigation and community support within the communal conservancies and wilderness areas, reiterating the need for conservation education for young and old, marking the turning point from Rescue & Release to 'Conservation Through Education' and Community Support.

This year, as we celebrate AfriCat's coming of age, the Hanssen siblings Tammy, Wayne, Donna and Rosalea, are reminded of our humble beginnings guided by our parents, Val & Rose Hanssen, who gave us the greatest gift one could give a child: 'to love the land and all the wilderness and to leave it a better place than we found it'.

Join us as we page through AfriCat's Album 1993-2014, as we are proud of what AfriCat has become:

 

1993-1995:

old logo africat 270hbaby chinga cheetah cubbaby chinga cheetah cub

AfriCat is registered as a Trust with the Deeds Office, Windhoek, Namibia. "A recognized, non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of Large Carnivores in Namibia". Chinga the Cheetah becomes AfriCat's ambassador after she is rescued at a cattle auction by Val Hanssen; Chinga is loved by all who visit the small guest farm Okonjima, providing a platform to promote carnivore conservation supported by tourism.

 

Chinga becomes the 'face of AfriCat' as the Hanssens prove that it is possible to ranch livestock with cheetah and leopard by adapting farm management and improving methods of protection.

 

Okonjima Lodge and farm becomes AfriCat’s largest sponsor: OKONJIMA | AFRICAT
How It Works:
Guests come to Okonjima to see AfriCat. Okonjima provides the accommodation, service and the ability to experience what AfriCat does. | Okonjima is responsible for 90% of the funding of the whole Project, while AfriCat is responsible for the Carnivore Care Centre | AfriCat is reliant on donations which represent 10% of total running costs.

Okonjima's 90% cover includes the following:
Building and maintenance of all AfriCat infrastructure like: roads, fences, fire-breaks, the airstrip, river-crossings, and buildings.
Supplies water points and bore-holes.
Maintenance of all vehicles.
Installations and maintenance of all communication systems. (telephones, 2-way-radios, computers)
Covers all security on premises and maintenance of security systems and security guards.
Supplied the National Okonjima power grid and standby generators.
Acquisition of all new farmland and game introductions.
Payment of all government land taxes.
Supplies additional staff during large projects.
Building and maintenance of all staff housing.
Payment of 95% of all staff salaries.
Payment of 95% of AfriCat’s advertising. 
www.okonjima.com

 

The first Leopard Research Project provided understanding of leopard behaviour on Okonjima, the valuable data was used to adapt farm management and livestock protection methods, decreasing the numbers of livestock killed and proving that removal of dominant leopard individuals creates a vacuum encouraging new arrivals to fill the territory, thereby refuting the belief that killing (trapping/shooting/poisoning) the largest, dominant leopard (male or female) will solve conflict in the long term.
Keeping calves in kraals may not be detrimental to weight gain.
Predator and livestock report.

okonjima leopard
Leopard on Okonjima.
old leopard distribution namibia
Leopard distribution map, Namibia.
old leopard map okonjima
leopard signpost
Careful - Carnivores crossing.
old farm leopard release
Leopard release.
old farm setting box traps to collar leopard
Setting box traps to collar leopards.

 

1995: AfriCat becomes a founding member of the Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia (LCMAN), a Ministry of Environment & Tourism initiative to gather together carnivore experts to
a) collaborate and manage carnivore research and
b) to establish a group of advisors for policy-related activities, i.e. Captive Carnivore Facility requirements, Species Management Plans, to name but a few.

 

henk microscsope
Dr Henk Bertschinger
starts his research at AfriCat on cheetah contraception.

 

1997:

afrileo logoAfri-Leo is established, dedicated to the protection and conservation of Namibia's lions; human-wildlife conflict mitigation programmes initiated on communal and commercial farmland along the borders of the Etosha National Park (ENP).

The lion sanctuary is built to provide a home for 5 lions when the Ekongoro Zoo in Rundu (a small town along Namibia's border with Angola) closes down.

 

1998:

The first Environmental Education (EE) Centre is built, sponsored by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). Proof that we are on the right track when a primary school student who had visited the AfriCat EE Programme, tells her dad not to trap and shoot cheetahs anymore but to call AFRICAT for advice! The Outreach programme begins in earnest with presentations at schools and an ever-increasing number interested in visiting the EE Centre. Children are able to observe cheetah behaviour at close quarters, encouraging understanding and greater tolerance of predators.

opening wspa ee centre 26-April1998
Opening day of the WSPA Environmental
Education Centre, 26th April 1998.
schools from across the country visit africat ee
Schools from across the country visit
AfriCat's EE Programme.
africat north ee
AfriCat North Environmental Education.
wspa environmental education
AfriCat Environmental Education.
 ee at africat
Environmental Education at AfriCat.
 ee centre at africat
The AfriCat Environmental Education Centre.
 ee scholars visit carnivore ambassadors
EE students visit carnivore ambassadors.
run like a cheetah1999
Run like a cheetah 1999.
hampton school africat north lion tracks
Looking for lion tracks.

 

1999 | 2000:

The construction of the 4 500 ha TUSK Trust Rehabilitation Park on Okonjima farm, completed and co-sponsored by Tusk & Okonjima.

4500ha park 2000tusk co sponsored the original rehab perimeter fence with okonjima

The first three sibling male cheetahs are released into the TUSK Trust Rehabilitation Park together with a number of antelope species.

first captive cheetahs released 2000
First captive cheetahs released into the park.
first captive cheetahs released 2000
First captive cheetahs released into the park.
specialized collars thermoregulation
Specialised collars for thermoregulation.

 

2000 - 2006: Captive cheetahs released and rehabilitated in the Okonjima Nature Reserve.
AfriCat’s Cheetah Rehabilitation project was initiated to give some of our captive cheetahs an opportunity to return to their natural environment. Although hunting in carnivores is instinctive, many of the cheetahs at AfriCat lack experience due to being orphaned or removed from the wild at an early age. This inexperience, as well as their conditioning to captivity, makes these animals unsuitable for release on farmland. The cheetahs (usually a coalition of brothers and sisters) are fitted with radio-collars before their release into the Okonjima Nature Reserve so that their welfare and progress can be closely monitored: AfriCat Programs - Rehabilitation

 

dr gary bauerDr Gary Bauer discovers and researches ground breaking new information about ocular abnormalities in cheetahs at AfriCat.

 

AfriCat's Rescue & Release programme becomes popular amongst commercial livestock farmers as an increasing number of calls to collect 'problem' leopard and cheetah keep the AfriCat team busy day and night; gaining momentum, the word is spread that AfriCat is the 'easy' solution and the cheetah and leopard 'hot-line' puts AfriCat in contact with large numbers of farmers, a good start to gathering information on predator numbers and methods of persecution, as well as creating opportunity to offer advice and support to affected farmers. Interestingly, some farmers were prepared to allow immediate release once AfriCat had engaged with them, requesting however, that this be done in secrecy as the neighbours would be irate should this activity become public!

rescueing carnivores from farmers
Rescuing carnivores from farmers.
rescueing carnivores from farmers
Rescuing carnivores from farmers.
darting cheetah 1993
Darting and rescuing cheetahs.
darted and rescued cheetahs from farmers
Darting and rescuing cheetahs.
farmers learning about carnivores
Farmers learning about carnivores on their properties and why they kill stock.
farm workers removing leopard
Farm workers removing a leopard from a trap.
releasing predators
Releasing predators that were caught, but were not the guilty problem predator.
cheetah release
Cheetah Release.
leopard release
Leopard Release.

 

Data gathered contributed to the National Carnivore Atlas, developed by the Ministry of Environment & Tourism in an attempt to establish the status of Namibia's cheetah and leopard population.

 

2003 | 2004:

afriCat uk old logo AfriCat UK established to create awareness and support for AfriCat's programmes in Namibia. www.africat.co.uk

 

2004: Afri-Leo is approached by the !Khoa di //Hoas Conservancy to assist them with lion-related problems along the ENP and Hobatere borders - this marks the start of the HWC mitigation & community support programmes on communal farmland; the Etosha Boundary Fence Project is initiated.

old kaross farm africat north map

 

A collaborative study by the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, the University of western Australia and the AfriCat Foundation takes off in the Okonjima Nature Reserve, using rehabilitated AfriCat cheetahs.
Cheetah are the fastest terrestrial mammals. During a hunt, cheetah metabolism and heat production increases by more than fifty-fold. Treadmill studies conclude that neither evaporative nor non-evaporative heat loss increase during a run, so all metabolic heat is stored. If cheetah indeed do use this heat-storage strategy, the duration of a sprint (and hence hunting success) would be determined by the amount of heat the cheetah can store without thermal compromise. We measured body temperature and activity every 5 min, using biologging, in six free-living cheetah in Namibia. We test whether free-living cheetah employed heat storage during hunts, and whether hunts were thermally limited: Thermoregulation study.

 

thermoregulationthermoregulationthermoregulation

 

2006:

Three captive, Spotted Hyaena were also released into the 4,500 ha TUSK|Okonjima Rehabilitation Park

release of 3 captive spotted hyaena release of 3 captive spotted hyaenarelease of 3 captive spotted hyaena

2007:

Large scale elephant damage to repaired Hobatere Park fences marks the start of the Livestock Protection Programme, whereby affected farming communities along these Park borders (so-called Hot-Spots) are encouraged to adopt Improved farm management and livestock protection techniques, i.e. Strong, nocturnal Kraals and reinstating herdsmen.

patrol and maintain fences
For maximum effect, electric fences must be patrolled and
maintained on a regular basis.
africat north lion spotted hyena
AfriCat North mainly focuses on spotted hyena and lion.
tracks predator movement
Tracks indicating predator movement through
boundary fences.
burrowing animals fences
Holes dug by burrowing animals such as
warthog and porcupine.
elephant damage hobatere
Elephant damage along the Hobatere boundary.
elephant damage hobatere
Elephant damage along the Hobatere boundary.

 

2008:

AfriCat co-sponsors the start of a volunteer programme PAWS (People And Wildlife Solutions). For many years Okonjima and AfriCat's vision was to restore the land back to its original state and once again witness the magnificent cheetah stalking and hunting its prey in its natural environment. Africa's fragile ecosystem and wildlife are inseparably linked, co-existing successfully since time began. Unfortunately due to man's influence this delicate balance is rapidly changing and the need to reverse this damage and protect our environment has become paramount.

This was where PAWS came in. Our exciting eco-tourism volunteer project combined the management and implementation of fundamental conservation principles. PAWS and our dedicated volunteers aimed to restore this balance and in time recreate this sustainable eco-system once more. Through their involvement and commitment we also created valuable employment and training opportunities for the local community to aid us with our vision.

 

paws camp 2008
PAWS Camp.
paws camp 2008
PAWS Camp.
paws 2005 volunteers
PAWS volunteers.
paws bush-chopping
PAWS volunteers chopping down bush.
paws sleepout
PAWS sleepout.
paws fence clearing
Fence clearing.

2010:

africat north 400pxAfri-Leo merges with AfriCat: Afri-Leo was registered as a Welfare Organisation in 1997 by Tammy Hoth-Hanssen (the eldest of the Hanssen siblings), and her husband Uwe, who were at that point still livestock farmers. They were intent on finding workable solutions for the ever-present farmer-lion conflict on their farm Kaross, as well as neighbouring farms adjacent to the Etosha National Park.

Their work later extended to the communal farming areas along the western, north-western and northern boundaries, where the Park boundary fence is porous and in need of regular maintenance.

 

 

Cheetah Rehabilitation Programme is re-initiated in the Okonjima Nature Reserve - May to Nov 2010, 17 captive cheetahs and 4 hand-raised wild dogs from AfriCat’s Welfare|Carnivore Care Unit were released into the 16,000ha private Okonjima Nature Reserve. The exploits of this first group of inhabitants was keenly followed by 3 million television viewers in the UK on 'Cheetah Kingdom', filmed by ITV for four months in 2010.

itv uk film cheetah release
AfriCat Rehabilitation Programme back on
track - ITV UK was there to film it all.
itv uk film cheetah release
AfriCat Rehabilitation Programme back on
track - ITV UK was there to film it all.
rehab program back on track
AfriCat Rehabilitation Programme back on track after
more land acquired and a larger safe area completed for rehabilitation.
cheetahs released with-guests
First group of captive cheetahs released on the 18th
May 2010 and witnessed by Okonjima guests.
cheetahs released with-guests
First group of captive cheetahs released on the 18th
May 2010 and witnessed by Okonjima guests.
monitoring rehab cheetahMonitoring rehabilitated cheetahs.

 

The Rescue and Release programme to this date had rescued and relocated over 1,060 big cats.

 

PAWS celebrated 3 years of volunteer conservation: "An Acre Of Performance Is Worth A Whole World of Promise." Never a truer statement has been made that is so relevant to every volunteer who has passed through the grass doors at PAWS in the past 3 years! This has become our mantra, our belief and if ever we are feeling a little blue, we only need look at the wooden sign etched with these words in the centre of our lapa and remember why we are here!

paws campVolunteer accommodtion.

paws camp5 fireThe PAWS camp fire.

paws debushing by handVolunteers debushing by hand.

Okonjima Guides and guests join the monitoring of the park carnivores and start documenting sightings on a more regular basis, assisting the AfriCat team with the population density and prey records: 1 leopard kill every 4 days & 1.7 sightings per day during a period of 1185 days | over a long period of time, no leopard had a preferred prey species – at times it may be warthog (28%) for the stronger males – then kudu (21%) – proof again that leopards are 'opportunists' and will kill whichever prey is easily available | altogether, 19 species of mammals, two species of birds and one species of reptile were noted; from Aardvark to Zebra and including Bat Eared Foxes, Black Backed Jackal and Caracal. Nkosi was once observed killing and eating a Leguaan (Monitor Lizard) | contrary to popular notion the chacma baboon is also not the preferred prey for leopard. Only one baboon kill was witnessed during the 1185 day period! In fact, Nkosi has been seen fleeing from a troop of angry Baboons in hot pursuit on two occasions . . . 

 

2011:

AfriCat changes strategy: A new team and new AfriCat Board of Trustees, a new Director and Chairman take over the running of AfriCat.

board meetingboard meeting

After many years of research AfriCat learnt it is important to not remove the predators from their territories (home-ranges), for this upsets the balance and the result, "a substantial increase in carnivores in these vacant territories." AfriCat, ('A FREE CAT') was founded to raise funds with which to go out and share successful farming methods with Namibian farmers. If successful, 25% of the world’s Cheetah population would continue to thrive in Namibia. Instead, eighteen years on and AfriCat boasts the largest 'Rescue and Release' programme of its kind, but an unacceptable percentage of farmers refused to adopted different farming methods. The average farmer does not tolerate carnivores on his land.

There are approximately 2,500 – 4,000 cheetahs and 3,500 leopards in Namibia and we have on average collected 50 cats per year. We have therefore only dealt with 0.8% of the wild population per annum in our rescue and release programme. The rescue and release programme was only a by-product of our initial plan to help the farmer deal with carnivore conflict. There are approximately 7,000 commercial farmers in our country and we’ve only been able to deal with an average of 18 farmers per year. Therefore, only 0.26% of the farming community have called us for help and all four 'Namibian–based carnivore organisations' have only managed to deal with about 1% of the farming community on an annual basis.

old africat office clinic
Old AfriCat Clinic.
old africat office clinic
Old AfriCat Clinic.
old africat office clinic
Old AfriCat Clinic.
africat ccc revamp
2011 AfriCat's Information and Carnivore 
Care Centre gets a revamp.
2011africat information revamp
2011 AfriCat's Information and Carnivore 
Care Centre gets a revamp.
africat care centre6
AfriCat's new Carnivore Care Centre.

News: AfriCat's Information and Carnivore Care Centre gets a face lift. 
News: Rescue and Release - Does it work ?

 

WildTrack starts a new project working with Okonjima and AfriCat to help develop a new approach to cheetah monitoring in Namibia - using footprints. www.wildtrack.org and AfriCat Projects - WildTrack

wildtrack paws beth oz willow wildtracks cheetah tracks wildtracks paws beth
measuring track wildtracks cheetah paw wildtracks zoe sky

AfriCat Foundation Environmental Education Programme: The AfriCat Environmental Education Programme is an enabler within the broader Namibian education system. Catering to a wide spectrum of ages and socio-economic backgrounds, AfriCat’s vision is to harness the rapt attention which learners embody when they visit AfriCat’s two centres into a deep-seated awareness of ALL environmental issues and, specifically in the Namibian context, those involving the vexed juxtaposition between farming communities and the country’s large carnivores.

AfriCat strives to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, thereby: keeping carnivores in their natural habitat and creating economic value for communities in doing so, preventing the exploitation and inhumane treatment of carnivores, ensure that captive populations are well cared for, advance high value alternative animal husbandry methods, and develop additional agronomy skills.
Environmental Education Programme update 2013

team building africat ee
Team building at AfriCat's EE Programme.
vistiting africat cc centre
Visiting AfriCat's Carnivore Care Centre.
bushman trail
Learning on the Bushman Trail.
under canvas class pyramid
Learning under canvas.
giving back build a kraal
Giving back - building a kraal.
giving back build a kraal2
Giving back - building a kraal.
removal of invasive acacia
Getting involved in the removal of invasive Acacia.
hampton school africat north
Hampton School, AfriCat North.
hampton school africat north
Hampton School, AfriCat North.

 

 

solvay logoOkorusu Fluorspar Mine (SOLVAY) Community Trust sponsors the AfriCat Communal Carnivore Conservation Programme (CCCP) and donates two fully equipped Land Cruiser 4x4 pick-ups and provides salaries for communal conservancy Lion Guards: this programme is aimed at developing Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation and Community Support Programmes, ultimately reducing livestock losses which in turn allows for greater tolerance of lions.

africat sponsored vehicles solvayafricat sponsored vehicles solvayafricat sponsored vehicles solvay

 

tusk trust 300pxTUSK Trust assists AfriCat Foundation:
The AfriCat Foundation is now working actively with TUSK Trust to raise funds in the UK. TUSK has supported AfriCat for many years and provided key funding for veterinary costs and capital projects.
Both the purchase of a plane for transport and tracking of animals and the materials and construction of the fence for the 4,500ha Cheetah Rehabilitation enclosure was co-funded by TUSK.

Tusk has been working for over 20 years to support conservation across sub-Saharan Africa. They offer us expertise in a broad range of fundraising activities and participation in the many events they run during the year.
www.tusk.org or contact details for Tusk

The Cheetah Symposium in SA: In June, AfriCat attended the meeting that the regional programme had organised to bring together government and NGOs to discuss reintroductions of cheetah within Southern Africa, something that is likely to increase as more areas become suitable for cheetah as a result of increased commitment from government and landowners as well as protection of wildlife.
News: The Cheetah Symposium in SA

 

Okonjima goes LIVE: 2011 saw the historical installation of 8 Vivotek Cameras across the new 200km² Okonjima Nature Reserve, of which 2 of them are portable, which means that they can be set up at a main game-trail, a fresh kill or active den, etc. The other 5 cameras are placed at waterholes or natural dams.
The cameras are all connected to the main server at Main Camp; from there, the image or video-feed is sent to our 3 main lodges.
News: The Okonjima Reserve goes live.
News: Applications of technology in the conservation and counter-conservation world.

okonjima live baboonsokonjima live dam rainingokonjima live animals 

PAWS Volunteer project closes down. As you are aware, PAWS (People And Wildlife Solutions) sadly closed down and ended a four-year roller-coaster ride of excitement, conservation experiences, bush clearing, fence ripping and tracking carnivores on foot. The reason for this was because we simply could not generate the revenue we needed to operate as an independent and viable project.
Partially it was because of the world recession, which  affected tourism throughout southern Africa. Sadly we also saw a substantial drop in our volunteer numbers from the year before. This was largely due to the fact that we simply can’t compete with projects which allow volunteers to have contact with the animals. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, contact with predators is a huge draw. However, AfriCat does not allow this contact, as it is not in line with our vision of preserving and conserving the 'wild' cats. PAWS closing letter.

 

paws night hide
PAWS at the night hide.
paws fence clearing
Volunteers fence clearing.
paws camp
PAWS Camp.
helping perivoli school
Helping at the Okonjima Perivoli Primary school.
paws health check
Helping at the annual health check.
fun around the firePAWS volunteers in the evening.

AfriCat attends London's first Wildlife Expo: The world's wildlife is under pressure as never before, and most of this pressure is human-related . . .  man has created it and only mankind can reverse this situation. It is in man's best interest to do so as, without a balance between nature and man's progress, our wilderness will be lost and man will be the loser.

 

During November 2011, Okonjima starts the removal of the park fence between the 4,000ha and 16,000ha Nature Reserves and creates a large 20,000ha park for captive carnivore rehabilitation.

 

2012:

A word from the newly elected AfriCat Chairman, Mark Reinecke.

'2012 was a transformative year for the AfriCat Foundation – a "game-changer" in so many ways. AfriCat is forging ahead strongly, with renewed energy and a clear direction, to implement its long-term vision. AfriCat has identified new opportunities to expand its founding principles of conservation, education, and research, which augment the long-established welfare programme.

A huge emphasis of AfriCat in 2013 shall be education, which fundamentally underpins the long-term public appreciation and understanding of Namibia's unique natural heritage. AfriCat is generously supported by TUSK Trust to resume its Environmental Education activities, through the funding of an educator for the AfriCat Outreach programme. Through this, thousands of school children will be exposed to the work of the AfriCat Foundation. 2013 shall also see AfriCat strive to establish new research facilities and to create formal linkages with teaching institutions in Namibia and abroad – research is a critical area in which AfriCat has much to offer the scientific community, as well as providing opportunities for practical experience to local tertiary and vocational students. AfriCat's research focus shall be on increasing the understanding of the relationship between predators and their environment in order to facilitate conservation efforts of the Namibian Government, AfriCat, other like-minded institutions, and the wider conservation community. 2012 saw AfriCat benefit from several bequests and legacies from a number of long-term AfriCat supporters who remembered the work of the Foundation in their wills. Their humbling generosity has enabled the Foundation to set about achieving its wider goals. To maintain AfriCat's momentum to effect sustainable change, we continue to rely on the enormous goodwill and generosity of supporters – the raising of further funding will permit AfriCat to accelerate its achievement of long-term goals which will serve to expand its conservation role in Namibia. In this regard, I thank you for your past support and urge you to kindly continue your steadfast support of the AfriCat Foundation in 2013.'

Mark Reinecke, Chairman of the AfriCat Foundation.

 

AfriCat organises the first African Lion Working Group (ALWG) Conference to be held in Namibia: The African Lion Working Group Conference 10+11.02.2012 – a gathering of conservationists and researchers establish the true status of the African Lion, discuss present projects and the way forward – action plans to ensure the survival of the species Panthera leo.

AfriCat UK changes strategy: A new team and new AfriCat UK Board of Trustees take over the running of AfriCat UK charity.
News: AfriCat's footprint in the United Kingdom.

 

The Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia (LCMAN) develops a protocol to be used by all carnivore conservation organizations in dealing with calls from farmers pertaining to farmer-predator conflict mitigation; these guidelines encourage organizations to engage with affected farmers, to establish the extent of the conflict, offer advice, which includes initiating the collaring, release & monitoring of the so-called 'problem' carnivore within its home range. This initiative encourages farmers to rather develop improved livestock protection programmes rather than capture and removal, thereby reducing the number of large carnivores, especially cheetah and leopard, removed from the wild. This is an ongoing challenge but necessary to prevent an increase in captive-held carnivores.
News: International wild dog management workshop
 

AfriCat’s EE Programme, supported by TUSK Trust, UK employs an environmental educator, enabling AfriCat to further develop the curriculum and increase the numbers of scholars attending the conservation programmes; 'Conservation Through Education' becomes AfriCat's mission, ultimately the only sustainable way to ensure the long-term survival of large carnivore and other wildlife species.
News: Conservation in Namibia

helen guiding with ajhelen africat ee classwahu3 


AfriCat starts raising funds a different way:
Adopt-A-Spot | AfriCat runs the London Marathon 2012 | AfriCat completes the Desert Dash | Ways to Support AfriCat

desert dash team
AfriCat cycles the Desert Dash.
2012 london marathon
AfriCat runs the London Marathon.
charlotte alfvin
AfriCat launches Adopt a Spot.

 

Five cheetahs arrived at the AfriCat Foundation during 2008. Ruff, Tumble and Dash arrived as a sibling group from the Windhoek area where they were found at about one month old. Dizzy was caught at about eight months old, also in the Windhoek area. She was caught without her mother and siblings. Baxter was caught in the Okahandja area at about six months old, also without his mother. All five cheetahs come from farmland, where the owners used box traps to catch them. The five were introduced together in one enclosure as they were all roughly the same age. This formed a man-made coalition with males and females in one group. On 1 June 2012, the coalition was released into the 20,000 hectare 200km² Nature Reserve, which marked the start of their rehabilitation process.
News: Mixed success. Baxter, Ruff, Tumble, Dizzy and Dash.

dizzy dash tumble ruffdizzy dash tumble ruff releasedizzy dash tumble ruff

AfriCat rescues a mother cheetah with five cubs: A beautiful mother cheetah and her five cubs were caught about 25 km north-east of Grootfontein. The area she inhabited was invaded by thorny acacias and she had probably shared her territory with leopard, brown hyena and even wild dog at some time or another. She had been in the area for a while and three farmers were after her as she had apparently been catching some livestock, but mostly game. She was caught in early December 2012 at one of the cattle posts and when the more than usually compassionate farmer realized that she had cubs, he set additional traps and caught all five of them.
News: Penta and Cubs - the quandary of rescue and release.

penta cubspenta cubspenta cubs 

 

The Namibia Wild Dog Project (NWDP) is initiated, a collaborative effort between AfriCat, /Na'an Ku se Wildlife Foundation and the Namibia Nature Foundation; this project is based in the Greater Mangetti, Kavango Region in north-eastern Namibia, comprising the Kavango Cattle Ranch and the Mangetti National Park and includes gathering data on Wild Dog numbers, population dynamics and movement patterns with the emphasis on developing mitigation programmes for both free-hold and communal farmers. The African Wild Dog population remains threatened throughout Africa, with severe persecution on Namibian farmland: AfriCat Projects - The Namibia Wild Dog Project 

africat namibia NNF logologo slogan naan ku se

03 mangetti project
Project trail camera in Mangetti Park.
ariel survey team namibia
Namibia wild dog project aerial survey team.
wild dog
Namibian Wild Dog.

2013:

The AfriCat North Lion Sanctuary closes down and the 4 captive lions and 1 leopard are relocated to the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre on Okonjima.
News: AfriCat North lions go south to their new home.

andreas manjara lion sanctuary
Andreas Manjara, carer at Africat North Lion Sanctuary.
moving lions
Moving the four lions from AfriCat North to AfriCat HQ. 
moving lions
Moving the four lions from AfriCat North to AfriCat HQ.
moving lions
Moving the four lions from AfriCat North to AfriCat HQ. 
moving lions
Moving the four lions from AfriCat North to AfriCat HQ. 
moving lewa
Moving Lewa from AfriCat North to AfriCat HQ. 
moving lewa
Moving Lewa from AfriCat North to AfriCat HQ. 
moving lewa
Moving Lewa from AfriCat North to AfriCat HQ. 
moving-lewa
Moving Lewa from AfriCat North to AfriCat HQ. 

 

Namibia’s first drought in 16 years affects the AfriCat Communal Carnivore Conservation Programme: Drought - A natural cycle, but for farmers it's about survival not conservation .
Namibia is known as the 'dry country', where farmers were once familiar with its regular, dry cycles managing their livestock numbers and crops accordingly; many remember the '80's drought' during which thousands of cattle died of thirst and hunger, especially in north-western Namibia, commonly known as Kaokoveld. Some commercial farmers were forced to sell their land and animals, others managed to purchase 'drought-relief' farms where they survived by keeping only the toughest stock, relieved when the rains returned. Thereafter, for at least a decade (2000-2010), most regions were blessed with regular if not above-average rainfall, providing much-needed relief, also increasing their herd numbers in the hope that these weather patterns would remain.
News: Drought a natural cycle.

 

AfriCat Research Committee established to regulate and monitor all research initiatives. Ongoing collaboration with scientists and the conservation authorities and working closely with the farming community allows for studies to be conducted that provide valuable information on large carnivores and their long-term conservation in Namibia. AfriCat has been involved in a number of studies involving the cheetahs at AfriCat, as well as the cheetahs and leopards captured on farmland.
AfriCat Projects | AfriCat Research | Contraception in Wildlife

 

The first cheetah cubs, born in the wild in the Okonjima Nature Reserve since the rehabilitation programme was set up in 2000. On the 16 April 2013 Dizzy, a captive cheetah released in June 2012, gave birth to three cubs.  Bones, another captive cheetah released in May 2010 was the father of the cubs - An AfriCat rehabilitation success story.  These cheetahs had also been previously treated with contraceptive implants making the breeding success even more noteworthy.

dizzy first cubsdizzy first cubsdizzy first cubs

 

MET Captive Large Carnivore Policy gazetted, ruling that
i) all captive female large carnivores must be sterilized to prevent breeding in captivity;
ii) that no free-ranging large carnivores may be taken from the wild and kept captive;
iii) should a farmer capture a large carnivore, three options remain: immediate release, donation to a registered Rehabilitation Centre within Namibia or destruction.
AfriCat, as well as a number of other organizations, have applied for registration as a Rehabilitation Centre, but all registrations are still pending. This leaves AfriCat with little option to rescue persecuted carnivores.

 

adrian tordiffe vet
Cheetah Health and Disease Monitoring Research Project initiated by Research Veterinarian, Dr Adrian Tordiffe, of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, involving the animals in the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre.

News: A new approach to disease research in cheetahs at AfriCat. and AfriCat annual health check 2013.

 

AfriCat opens a day visit to the Carnivore Care & Information Centre: Tourism funds and supports the majority of AfriCat’s education and conservation work. Day visitors are now able to observe some of this programme's work and learn more about these endangered, amazing, and beautiful animals. AfriCat has rescued over 1,070 cheetah, lion, and leopard since 1993 – 85% have been released back into the wild.

africat okonjima daycentre daycentre diningdaycentre lounge1 


Hobatere Lion Research Project initiated
, linked to mitigating Human-Wildlife Conflict in communal conservancies along the Hobatere borders: includes establishing lion numbers, population dynamics and movement patterns; using GPS - Satellite collars, data provides an early-warning system for livestock farmers. Simultaneously, the AfriCat Communal Carnivore Conservation Programme (CCCP) builds sponsored livestock kraals for farming communities in these boundary Conflict zones (hot-spots), providing improved protection against marauding lions.

hobatere research site
Hobatere Research Study Site.
tammy met ranger emmanuel 425h
Collaring one of the male lions.

 

06 lioness spots
Lioness Spots collared.
06 mamma hobs campsite
Big Mamma and 5 cubs.
20 africat meet with farmers
AfriCat Team and Lion Guards, meet the farmers.

The AfriCat EE Programme reaches 25,730 school children since its inception 1998.
The AfriCat North base is shifted to a new farm and the Namibian Government introduces free schooling, which in turn caused schools that were originally built for 600 students, to cater for 1,000.
The AfriCat Environmental Education Programme 2013.

 

group smiles
Environmental Education Group smiles.
bushwalks and learning about our fauna floraBush walks and learning about our flora and fauna. giving back adopt a spot
Giving back - adopt a spot.
mountain hikes in the okonjima nature reserve
Mountain hikes in the Okonjima Nature Reserve.
scholars learn how to track
Students learn how to track.
fitness at ee camp
Fitness is also important.

  

The AfriCat|Jim Maltman Animal Clinic is built, construction of the new Carnivore Care Centre commences phase 2 and the AfriCat HQ offices and Carnivore Information Centre are revamped.

2011 ccc upgraded
AfriCat's Carnivore Care Centre is upgraded.
2011 ccc upgraded
AfriCat's Carnivore Care Centre is upgraded.
2011 ccc upgraded
AfriCat's Carnivore Care Centre is upgraded.
2013 africat hq office
AfriCat HQ Office.
2013 jim maltman clinic
New Jim Maltman Veterinary Clinic.
2013 jim maltman clinic
New Jim Maltman Veterinary Clinic.
2013 jim maltman clinic New Jim Maltman Veterinary Clinic.

 

AfriCat becomes a stakeholder in the Southern African Cheetah and Wild Dog Rangewide Conservation Management Plan.

 

Headlines across the globe about research done at the AfriCat Foundation: Why do cheetahs give up the hunt? One of the most prevalent myths in animal biology has been debunked, with scientists proving cheetahs don't abandon hunts because they overheat.
News: When the heat is on the cheetah is cool.

 

AfriCat joins forces with two NGO’s to start up the Namibia African Wild Dog Project: The collaborative AfriCat, N’aankuse and Namibian Nature Foundation (NNF) Wild Dog Project commenced in earnest 8-10 February 2013.

The proposed Mangetti Wild Dog Research Project Proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Tourism (MET) end 2010 - for the necessary permission and is the first collaborative effort between the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF), N/a’an ku se Foundation and AfriCat. 


The selected study site (Mangetti Cattle Ranch and Mangetti National Park) is situated in the Kavango Region along the boundary between commercial farmland and Kavango communal farmland, to the east of the Etosha National Park. The study area includes about 40 farms and covers approximately 200,000 hectares, where wild dog packs are regularly sighted and farmer-predator conflict threatens their long-term survival.
NAWDP reports and updates 2013.

wild dog3 mangetti trail camera africat wild dog

2014: 

The AfriCat Hobatere Lion Research Project and The Namibia African Wild Dog Project enters its second year, headed by Dr Adrian Tordiffe and Tammy Hoth-Hanssen.

hobatere lion project 11 spots pride waterhole a hobatere lion project2

The Predator-Prey Density study commences in the 20,000 ha Okonjima Nature Park, headed by Dr David Roberts and Wayne Hanssen.

More information: AfriCat Projects | Sponsor a research project in the Okonjima Nature Reserve.

prey prey prey
prey4 mj1 mj2

 

The 2014 annual AfriCat Health Checks: This year the AfriCat Animal Clinic was transformed into a high-tech surgical theatre: A team of specialists, mostly from University of Pretoria (UP), joined the normal AfriCat team to surgically sterilize the female cheetahs and leopards that are considered unsuitable for release into the wild.  The Namibian government passed legislation requiring the irreversible sterilization of all female captive large felids in a bid to prevent the captive breeding and illegal trade of these species. Dr Marthinus Hartman, one of the surgeons at UP, had developed a minimally-invasive laparoscopic technique to sterilize captive lions in South Africa.  With the specialized equipment provided by the German company – Karl Storz, the cheetahs and leopards could have their ovaries removed or fallopian tubes tied off in the same way, through a single tiny surgical incision. This would mean less trauma and pain and a far lower risk of any post-operative complications.

 

dr hartmann clinic1
Dr. Marthinus Hartman and Prof. Eric Monnet.
gerhard steenkamp clinic
Dr. Gerhard Steenkamp.
gerhard steenkamp clinic
Dr. Gerhard Steenkamp.
prof frick stegman clinic
Prof. Frik Stegman.

The AfriCat’s Communal Carnivore Conservation Programme extends into the third communal conservancy, promoting conservation of lions and improved livestock protection.
News: In honour of World Lion Day 10th August 2014.

lion guardians
Lion Guards.
completed livestock protection kraal
Completed livestock protection kraal.
khoa di hoas community kraal
Khoa Di Hoas Community Kraal.
herdsmen reinstated
Re-instating herdsmen.
hobatere lion research
Hobatere Lion Research.
onguta school meetup
Onguta School community meet.

 

africat america
AfriCat America
registered in the state of Illinois with 5 new Directors on board.
AfriCat America Inc. Public Charity - EIN 20-3174862  | Peter and Wanda Hanssen | 7601 W. Southport road, Peoria, Illinois 61615 USA

 

 

 

africat uk A new AfriCat UK website is created. AfriCat UK is a registered charity whose vision statement is "Conservation, Education and Community Enhancement". AfriCat UK predominantly support and raise awareness of the AfriCat Foundation in Namibia
UK Charity Commission Number 1120026 | 5 Brackendale Way, Reading RG6 1DZ | info-uk@africat.org 
Contact Details.

 

 

chris for event flyer AfriCat’s third presentation at the Royal Geographic Society in London, UK.
BIG CATS - KEEPING THEM WILD - An evening with Chris Packham, conservationist, ecologist, presenter and wildlife photographer in aid of the AfriCat Foundation, Namibia.

  

 

ONE MORE CUP OF COFFEE FOR THE ROAD – by Dr Mark Jago

dr mark jago damaralanddr mark jago and laura2

21 years ago my family and I arrived in Namibia. It was not for the first time that we were to set foot on the dark continent, but none the less it was not without trepidation that we packed our entire worldly possessions into a container, condemned them to a long and slow transatlantic boat ride, while we ourselves climbed aboard a South African airways 747 and hurtled through the skies at speeds close to 1000km per hour from England to Africa.

Why is it that for so many the continent becomes the country? In our ignorance we believe that "Africa" is a monomorphic land full of wild places, savage animals and simple lives. It is certainly a continent strewn with a history of wars, violence and poverty, but we were not immigrating to Africa; we were going to the jewel in her crown – Namibia . . . . 

"And your pleasure knows no limits

Your voice is like a meadowlark

But your heart is like an ocean

Mysterious and dark”

Laura, my wife, and I together with our two young children found ourselves living in a small town by the name of Otjiwarongo. I started work with the veterinary clinic there while Laura began with the Ministry of Health. Our children went to school. Afrikaans yes, German plenty, African languages abounded, but English . . . .  you must be joking! The language may have been made the official tongue of the Namibian nation, but it was to be many years before people really started to speak such a foreign sound on a regular basis.

It was therefore a true pleasure when we were first introduced to the Hanssen family – for they really did speak English. And what an unusual family! Where to begin ? Perhaps with the patriarch . . . .

"Your daddy, he's an outlaw

And a wanderer by trade

He'll teach you how to pick and choose

And how to throw the blade"

Val, was a cowboy at heart, a man perhaps born at the wrong time and in the wrong place. In his younger years he would have been a formidable character. We were to come to know him in his senior quiet years when it was with delight that he watched his children become grown-ups and take over the land which he and his wife, Rose, had tamed after many long and hard years.

The sword of responsibility passed to the eldest child and only son . . . .

"He oversees his kingdom

So no stranger does intrude

His voice, it trembles as he calls out

For another plate of food"

Wayne is a visionary and an entrepreneur. A hard man to come to know, and even harder to follow as he changes his mind more frequently than the sun sets or the moon rises. But AfriCat was in his dreams and a part of his passion. So twenty one years ago Wayne together with Lisa, his former charismatic wife, kick-started the Foundation with an energy and drive which left no doubt that it would succeed. However they could not have achieved on their own the unbelievable success that the Okonjima/AfriCat story was to become. There have been many helpers along the way, but the lion’s share of the effort has to go to the three sisters . . . .

"Your sister sees the future

Like your mama and yourself

You've never learned to read or write

There's no books upon your shelf"

As much as the head is very much a part of the AfriCat/Okonjima story, it is without a shadow of a doubt the heart which is the vital organ. How many of us know of a situation where 3 sisters work side by side, day in day out, discussing, arguing, disagreeing sometimes, but always coming out winning? Tammy, Donna and Rosalea are as different as the differing cogs that turn in a grandfather clock, but, just as in the clock, they are all part of one big family making AfriCat and Okonjima tick.

And so it was twenty one years ago that my family and I started to work for AfriCat and with the Hanssen family. In the early years the work of the Foundation focused on one of the world’s most beautiful, endangered and enchanting creatures . . . .

"Your breath is sweet

Your eyes are like two jewels in the sky

Your back is straight, your hair is smooth

On the pillow where you lie"

It has been a fortune and an enormous pleasure for my family and I to be able to be part of the dream, and the team, which has worked tirelessly for twenty one years to ensure that the next generation will be able to appreciate and enjoy the cheetah in its natural state as much as our generation has. Namibia is the only country in the world where the cheetah lives on land which is actively farmed with livestock. The struggle is unrelenting with farmers needing to ensure a livelihood from the land, while at the same time the cheetah must survive from whatever resources the land has to offer. Conflict is inevitable. AfriCat through its varied works, in particular in the field of education, has undoubtedly mitigated the conflict significantly, and so has become a major player in the conservation of this mysterious creature . . . .

"But I don't sense affection

No gratitude or love

Your loyalty is not to me

But to the stars above"

Of all the creatures that I have known, the cheetah seems one of the hardest to fathom. Looking into her eyes there appears to be only confusion and bewilderment at a world she cannot comprehend. The fastest mammal on dry land, she is yet so vulnerable. Easy to catch, to hunt, to kill, it is remarkable that in Namibia there is still a unique population which, against all odds, survives. She needs all the help she can get. Thus AfriCat is here to stay for another twenty one years and beyond. The Foundation, with help from so many corners of the planet, will continue to walk the path which, although tortuous, ultimately hopes to ensure the survival not just of the cheetah, but also of her cousins and so much more.

Therefore let us raise a glass to Bob the bard, and remember . . . .

"One more cup of coffee for the road

One more cup of coffee 'fore I go

To the valley below"

The words of the song are all original Bob Dylan - Mark

Our Vet Team - Mark Jago
Annual Health Check
Rescue and Release - does it work ?

 

AfriCat 21 years old! by Dr Gerhard Steenkamp

gerhard steenkampgerhard steenkamp

I arrived at AfriCat and didn’t know what to expect. Cheetahs have been part of my career for a while, first as guide at the de Wildt Cheetah Centre while I was a student and later as part of a research team. Little did I know that a special relationship with the cheetahs of Namibia was developing. This is looking back to February 2002 when I first arrived at AfriCat for the annual health checks. Prof. Henk Bertshinger, a good friend of mine, introduced me to this farm as dental and oral disease in cheetah have been published as a potentially Namibian phenomenon as early as 1982 by Fagan (as well as the 'Omajova' mushrooms!).

Initially my task was to evaluate all the mouths of the cheetahs and where needed, institute appropriate treatment. For a veterinary dentist and maxillofacial surgeon 3 components were present which meant that my services will be needed here for a time to come:

  • An ageing population of cheetahs. Cheetahs attain ages on this wonderful farm that we are not used to seeing. This meant older animals with potentially more severe dental conditions.
  • Annual exposure to these cats giving me an ideal opportunity to look at longitudinal problems and how time affects oral and dental disease in these cats.
  • Sand – lots of it! At first this was of no consequence, however with the years the sand accumulating on the food causing excessive wear was found to be one of the main causes of pulp exposure in these cats.

In 2008 my wife Sonja (an oral pathologist) and I applied for a grant from the Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Forum to cover some of the direct costs we were encountering with treating these cheetahs annually. We were awarded this grant and it was possible to sustain our work at AfriCat for 6 years! In 2010 we were graced with Dr. Peter Emily himself visiting at AfriCat. He was very impressed with what was happening at AfriCat and indeed how the funds were used.

I have had the privileged to have worked with colleagues in the dentistry field (Dr. Gianfranco Danzi – Italy) and also with cats from other establishments (CCF – Namibia) here at AfriCat. Several research projects have been done and is currently underway here at AfriCat to improve the quality of life, not only of these cats at AfriCat, but for cheetah as a species. Dr. Jose Carlos Almanza Ruis completed part of his MSc studies into the correct antibiotic to use for pulp exposure in cheetah here. He flew out from Spain initially and within 48hrs we were on a road trip from Pretoria to Okonjima . . .  something that changed his life.

On the lighter side Namibia has crept deeper into my heart and indeed that of my wife whom never before visited this wonderful piece of God’s earth. Being a trained dentist before she specialised, it was hilarious when, on occasion, a soundman for a television company came to the clinic where we were busy with cheetahs. He was embarrassed to ask for help, but his tooth’s crown came dislodged and needed to be replaced. Sonja’s instincts kicked in and in no time was the crown and tooth cleaned and re-united with one another. Many years later we were informed that the crown was still in place and functioning well.

In 2013 my wife and kids aged 4 and 6 accompanied me to AfriCat for the first time. In our calendar this will always go down as a memorable year as I fear a new generation of Namibia adorers were created. Enjoying the sand, sun and animals was just what my 2 city slickers required to realise there is a life beyond Barnie and Tom & Jerry.

Thank you AfriCat and all the wonderful people we have met there over the past 12 years. From staff to visitors alike, we have never had any other feeling of peace, respect and commitment to the plight of the cheetah. I am also very pleased to see that over 12 years the one thing that never existed here was a fear of change. Many things have changed, not always with the ease it was meant, however ultimately the animals, especially cheetahs, benefitted.

We wish to congratulate one and all for the initial vision and lately the constant adaptation to improve Okonjima and AfriCat. May your efforts not be in vain to help cheetahs and other carnivores survive in Namibia for generations to come.
Gerhard

Our Vet Team - Gerhard Steenkamp
Annual Dental Check
AfriCat Program - Research

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AFRICAT! by Dr Henk Bertschinger

henkhenk

I have been extremely privileged to be involved with the AfriCat Foundation since 1999. With the exception of 2012, I have been present at every annual health check since then. As a scientist I can honestly say that there is only one other cheetah sanctuary that has offered me similar research opportunities and that is the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in South Africa.

My involvement at AfriCat began when I met Lisa Hanssen at an international cheetah meeting that took place in South Africa in 1998. She asked me if I had any experience with the contraception of cheetahs. I replied no, but that a new contraceptive implant had been developed that I had already used in preliminary work for the contraception of African wild dog. So, in 1999 we treated two males and 8 females with deslorelin implants. I came back two months later to examine the males and found that the implants were working. Contrary to males, where one can collect semen samples, measure the testicular size and blood testosterone concentrations, for females one just has to wait and see if they fall pregnant. One year later I returned to establish no pregnancies and that the males were still down-regulated. This time we repeated the treatment on the eight females and two males, but added another six females and 4 males to the program and the following year the results were once again excellent. Both AfriCat and I were extremely happy!

Since those early years, 67 males and 48 females have been treated from one to as many 10 times during the annual health checks. The emphasis shifted largely to male contraception as can be seen by the numbers. As a result, a wealth of data has been collected and published on the efficacy, reversibility and safety of deslorelin implants in cheetah.
Nowhere else in the world would this have been possible.

What is more, the research is ongoing and has now shifted to the reversibility of the implants after medium to long term use in males.
Henk

 

SEE RESEARCH BY DR BERSCHINGER: Reversible, safe contraception in captive felids at AfriCat | Deslorelin Reproduction Supplement (Induction of contraception in some African wild carnivores by downregulation of LH and FSH secretion using the GnRH analogue deslorelin) | Control of reproduction and sex related behavior in exotic, wild carnivores with the GnRH analogue deslorelin | Detection of feline CORONAVIRUS infection in southern African nondomestic felids.
Our Vet Team - Henk BerschingerHenk Berschinger
AfriCat Program - Research

 

My name is Charlotte Alfvin, and I am a 'newbie' at the AfriCat Foundation. I came to Okonjima’s volunteer programme, P.A.W.S. in October 2012, and like everyone else, I wanted to see cheetahs and leopards and do some good at the same time.

mj on the table1mj on the tablemj on the table

I didn’t know anything about Namibia then, the cheetahs threatened existence or the invasive bush species covering the land, as a result of over-grazing, making the natural habitat of the cheetah smaller and smaller.

The visit to the head quarters of The AfriCat Foundation, www.africat.org opened my eyes to what is going on in Namibia’s wildlife. I was choked by the rapidly decreasing numbers of cheetah, leopard, lion and wild dogs, and the reasons behind it. Appalled to hear that in Namibia, farmers still trap and shoot these predators, without blinking, in the name of protecting their livestock. Sad to hear that the Government is not taking good enough measures, to make sure their wildlife is protected and their people are assisted in this matter.

AfriCat was established in the early 90’s, and formally registered as a non-profit organization in 1993 (HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY!!), and Team AfriCat has since then worked tirelessly with their mission – the long term survival of Namibia’s large carnivores. Since sponsoring my first Adopt-A-Spot, I have followed the work of the organization closely, and am amazed of the broad spectra of programmes and research, going on at the Foundation. To name my favourites, The AfriCat Hobatere Lion Research Project, aiming to protect the Namibian lion on the borders of Etosha (Kunene region), The Namibia African Wild Dog Project, initiated together with N//a’ankusê & Namibian Wildlife Foundation (NNF), to study and protect the few remaining wild dogs in the Mangetti Cattle Ranch (Kavango Cattle Ranch) and the Mangetti Park. (The Mangetti Complex), The Environmental Education Programmes, which have touched over 25,000 Namibians plus school kids since the start in 1998, with innumerable praise from both students and teachers.

In my perspective, from the start as a cheetah - and leopard sanctuary 21 years ago, AfriCat has gone from baby, through teenage and is now a 'grown up', graduated with flying colours and ready to take on the world.

Today, I am proud to be a part of the capable AfriCat Team, and bring what I can to the future success of the Foundation. We are broadening our horizon, to inform, educate and raise funds for our mission. Join us in making sure the future stays bright for AfriCat and the carnivores of Namibia.
Charlotte Alvin – AfriCat sponsor and supporter.

 

The AfriCat Foundation – Happy Twenty First 1993 to 2014 . . . .

Wishing the Team many more years of carnivore conservation, research, community support and environmental education!

May all our efforts not be in vain to help cheetahs, lions, leopards, wild dogs and other carnivores survive in Namibia for generations to come . . .

end cheetah cubend leopard cubintro caracal

 

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