By Amorette Aryee, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017
While in South Africa I visited a Cheetah Outreach. This program serves to limit cheetah endangerment and prevent the killing of livestock. They use shepherd dogs to protect the grazing animals. Farmers kill a lot of cheetahs because they are responsible for killing up to 40% of livestock. This severely hinders profits and negatively affects their livelihood. To combat this, farmers set traps or poison this endangered species.
The Cheetah outreach program examines local farms for signs of cheetah occurrences. If one is discovered, a puppy is placed with the livestock. The shepherd dog is protective and quite aggressive. As it grows up, it is trained to protect the livestock. This exploits the cheetah’s non-aggressive behavior. The animal will avoid the dog’s presence at all cost. Thus protect its life and the farmers’ livelihood. Additionally, this program strives to educate people about cheetahs by explaining common misconceptions about the animal. It aids in supporting the declined species by being an ambassador and educating the public.