Today, we are happy to share with you some feedback received from one of the farmers we’ve been working with from the beginning of the Project, Lukas Botes. He took on the responsibility to train and use a guard dog to protect his ewes from predators. Marine, a beautiful Maluti dog arrived on his farm as a puppy a few months ago.
On the 29th of July, Lukas – accompanied by Cyril Stannard from Cheetah Outreach – kraalled the sheep Marine has been herding for a month or so now. Marine had to adapt from a 60 ha farm to a 4300 ha farm and a 651 ha camp. Some adjustment were necessary in regards to what Marine was eating, turned out for a while she was only eating the same berries that jackals eat in the veld!
Even if it is too early to talk about success, Lukas reported that there, due to Marine, have been fewer losses in the camp compared to the past two years. For the past few years, Lukas could not put newly born lambs in that very same camp without losing them all to predators. On 13/08/2015, Lukas put 4 newly born lambs in the camp with Marine and today, they are still alive! There were also 3 more newborn lambs including twins in the camp when Lukas counted his sheep.
Lukas will keep Marine in that camp until early next month and will keep us updated with what happens. Lukas reports that for the moment there is some improvement regarding his losses. Marine even barked one night when one of Lukas’ neighbors used jackal calls while hunting.
We are wishing Lukas and his dog, Marine, great success and are looking forward to hearing more about this (hopefully) successful story! Thank you as well to Cheetah Outreach to make this experiment possible.