After a much long awaited period of time CWR finally received permission to vaccinate the rest of the dogs that were missed during the first campaign this year. Public Announcements were made days in advance and the hook was that for the first 50 dogs vaccinated we would give away free collars and leashes. As you can see by these pictures that is a rare commodity here. These collars were donated by the silent Hero’s Foundation Haley Adams
On arrival at scene there were over 30 dogs waiting. We had no time to take pictures as it was a virtual circus. I bent over so many times in the first 30 minutes U began to feel my age. Our group of volunteers that have assisted us in the last 3 campaigns all knew what to do and we worked as a finely tuned machine. Dogs were vaccinated with the 6 in one vaccine (including distemper and parvo virus) Rabies and were all wormed. Since this program introduced the condition of the dogs has improved dramatically over the last 2 years. Locals have learned how to take care of their dogs which are generally regarded as watch dogs and not pets and we believe that this seed of understanding helps in the education of the importance of all animals. As we live with wildlife in Kasane and an outbreak of Distemper wiped out over 300 dogs 2 years ago a very real and unfortunate result is that the virus was transmitted into the wildlife predator population. Dogs that were deceased were picked up by marauding hyenas which infected them and then when they went to a wildlife kill transmitted the disease to the pack or pride. Its our strong belief that this wiped out the entire lion population, painted wild dogs, hyenas and bat eared foxes whom are very susceptible and the disease it 95 % fatal. Unfortunately lack of funds and equipment at that time prevented us from confirming the allegations as we had no access to the areas were these animals would have died in very short period of time. What we do know is that last year there were 2 lions in the park at the Chobe River waterfront. This is most unusual as prides establish themselves near the water were they can drink and have plenty of prey to hunt.
New lion prides have moved in to Chobe and the lion politics are very unstable at the moment.
Vaccination of domesticated in contact animals is the best way to try and prevent these disasters. CWR has a project in proposal in which we will collar one individual from every pride so we can follow them and find out what their patterns are. Also all members of the pride will be tested for infectious diseases including the presence of distemper antibodies in the blood. I strongly presume they will be positive that will prove that predators have been exposed. The goal is to hopefully make this a mandatory yearly vaccination such as rabies is by the management. I would like to thank Disney for their generous donation of $5000.00 which helped to purchase a big proportion of the vaccines. Also to my passionate workers, black and white community members along with volunteers from Parks and wildlife and Veterinary service my heartfelt thank you.
All vaccines have now been distributed and animals recorded. Over 180 dogs were vaccinated in one afternoon. Next year this should be done again and in perpetuity.
CWR is in great need of funding which we rely on 100% to achieve these projects that are of extreme importance to the survival of this wonderful Paradise. Please help us to keep it this way.