Once again sad news from N/a’an ku se ~ THREE of their beloved, released wild dogs, shot after just 8 months of freedom

TRAGIC, TRAGIC news, they work hard to rebuild wild dog numbers in Namibia, they monitor two packs of wild dogs in the Mangetti as well as rescuing these dogs when they needed it & yet again man takes innocent lives. I cannot explain to you the loss they will be feeling. Their mantra is to rescue, rehabilitate & release wherever possible, so sad that these dogs were lost like this 😭😭

I have had the privilege of feeding this pack whilst they were still at the sanctuary, when you know how much love goes into the work they do, it makes it all the more devastating. On one hand it’s amazing that they had a chance of freedom,  it would be easier to accept had they met some kind of natural end, but to lose their lives like this, for no reason at all at the hands of man reinforces the worry for the worlds wild life!!

We are heartbroken and in shock! Two of our magnificent African wild dogs were killed and a third seriously injured on the Zannier Reserve by Naankuse. Read thefull press release here:

Protected species slain

A pack of five African wild dogs, Namibia’s most endangered carnivore species, was callously persecuted on Tuesday, 12 February 2019. The shocking incident occurred on the Zannier Reserve by Naankuse. Situated in close proximity to Windhoek Hosea Kutako Airport and the Naankuse Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary, the Zannier Reserve by Naankuse acts as a haven for wildlife – a haven that instead became a scene of brutality this week.

Two wild dogs lost their lives, with a third severely injured and fighting for his life in the Naankuse Veterinary Clinic. They came to the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary as pups, siblings Nadia and Jaco rescued from a situation of conflict in the Mangetti area of Namibia’s north-east, with the three brothers, Namib, Desert and Veldt, having been removed from a situation of certain death in the Otjozondjupa region. Raised by Marlice Van Vuuren the pups thrived and formed a remarkable pack of five. After almost two years of dedication to these animals, classified as endangered by the IUCN’s red list of threatened species and legally protected within Namibia since 2016, these dogs were ambassadors for their species and formed one of the Naankuse Foundation’s most successful release projects to date. Furthermore, the release process provided vital research data, with two of the dogs having been fitted with GPS collars. Embracing freedom on the Zannier Reserve by Naankuse in June 2018 the pack, affectionately dubbed the “Famous Five”, survived without conflict for seven months.

A farmer neighbouring Naankuse Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary was made aware of suspicious activity concerning the African wild dogs in the morning of 12 February. He immediately alerted Naankuse staff who investigated the situation. The African wild dogs in question remained on the reserve side, with no evidence of them having left the property and strayed onto airport ground. The remains of a hunt were clearly evident, a kudu having been chased and caught on the reserve side by the wild dogs, next to the fence dividing the reserve and the airport grounds. Numerous studies have shown that African wild dogs make use of man-made structures and perimeter fences when bringing down prey, and the pack of five regularly made use of the fence line when hunting. Upon further inspection, 12G shotgun shell casings and tracks indicating that illegal trespass onto the reserve to a distance of at least 40m from the dividing fence had taken place, were discovered. In addition to this, the remains of two deceased wild dogs and a third severely injured dog prompted the manager of the Zannier Reserve by Naankuse to contact police. Members of the Namibian Police Force and the Protected Resources Unit (PRU) responded and investigated the crime scene.

After alerting the airport maintenance manager to the possibility of airport security personnel having illegally trespassed private property and potentially shot and killed a protected species, the maintenance manager made immediate enquiries. Three airport security and three airport maintenance personnel were identified with a kudu carcass in the back of a vehicle. The suspects were taken to the scene, whereupon members of the police force searched the vehicle for evidence. The six suspects, believed to have trespassed and shot and killed the wild dogs in order to obtain their kudu prey, were charged and remain in police custody.

Naankuse veterinarian, Dr. Kobus Hoffman, performed forensic autopsies on the deceased wild dogs and found further evidence of shotgun pellets, indicating that the dogs had been shot with a 12G shotgun. A punctured aorta caused massive haemorrhaging in one of the dogs, with the other having been killed by a shotgun pellet passing through its pulmonary artery. The third dog, Jaco, currently being treated at the Naankuse Veterinary Clinic, suffered from shotgun pellet wounds to the neck and face, with further pellets potentially lodged internally.

The Naankuse Foundation would like to thank the neighbouring farmers, the Namibian Police Force, PRU and anti-poaching unit for their quick response and efforts in apprehending the suspects of a heinous crime against Namibia’s painted dogs – Africa’s second-most endangered canid.

Rest in peace, Nadia and Desert. Your deaths will not be in vain!

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