Painted Dogs Make it on to Breakfast TV!

The ITV breakfast programme Daybreak will be transmitting the weather bulletins live from Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP) tomorrow morning, Tuesday 30th July, most likely from Lion Country and Painted Dogs. They are currently also planning a live news article on Painted Dogs and the Painted Dog Conservation link with YWP at 7.35 am. The weather links will go out every half an hour during the programme ( from 6 am).

Fun in the sun at Wildlife Heritage Foundation

Following the very successful visit last year of PDC’s Maria Njamba, PDC UK was delighted to be invited to have a stall at Wildlife Heritage Foundation’s 4 Open Days from 18th-21st July. Wildlife Heritage Foundation operates a big cat sanctuary and its aim is to be recognised and respected as being the best breeding centre for endangered big cats in the world.  To do this it operates a centre of excellence in Kent dedicated to the captive breeding of endangered big cats within the European Endangered Species Programmes (EEP) with the eventual aim of providing animals for scientifically based re-introduction projects. Travelling down to Kent to the Foundation’s beautiful big cat sanctuary to set up, we were excited by the prospect of four day’s fine weather.  As it turned out, it was not only fine but boiling hot, resulting in several of the Foundation’s feline residents feeling very sleepy! However, the fine weather bought the public out in droves and it was a very happy event, with people taking the opportunity to see tigers, leopards, jaguars and some of the smaller and rarer cats such as the Pallas Cat and the Rusty Spotted Cat, smallest cat in the world, no bigger than a domestic kitten. The highlight of most people’s day was obviously the four adorable and supremely beautiful white lion cubs and their very proud mother. Apart from the immense pleasure of seeing these beautiful animals, the public were invited to enjoy a range of other activities at the centre, including a Bar B  Q, face painting, south American arts and crafts and, of course the opportunity to do some shopping! Many people braved the intense heat of the marquee to come and find out about the plight of painted dogs (the only canine representatives in a largely feline event!) and to do some shopping of our unique crafts from the Iganyana Arts Centre.  The team was delighted to be joined by volunteer Lauren  on Saturday – pictured here with the famous Baxter Bear who, through his famous story of loyalty and dedication during the Second World War, is a very popular addition to many charity events.  http://worldofbaxterbear.com (PIC) We were absolutely delighted that, by the end of the four days, we had raised a further £1595 for the project whilst enjoying a fabulous event.  We shall be back next year so do please check the Wildlife Heritage Foundation’s website for admission tickets, which are only available online: www.whf.org.uk With grateful thanks to Lynn and all the lovely dedicated staff and volunteers  at Wildlife Heritage Foundation.

PDC UK Trustees Visit Yorkshire Wildlife Park

It was with the greatest pleasure that Trustees Sandra Miles-Taylor and Janet Campbell travelled up to see our good friends at Yorkshire Wildlife Park on 7th July to take part in their Animal Action Day.  Painted dogs are one of the four species chosen by the park as special ambassadors to highlight conservation issues with the general public and Sandra and Janet were most impressed by all the recent additions and improvements to the park’s infrastructure since their last visit and to the staff’s dedication to getting the conservation message across. Last year,  Maria Njamba,  education and visitor guide from the Painted Dog Conservation project in Zimbabwe, spent several days at the park learning about their educational techniques and visitor management.   Her visit was remembered with great affection and the Trustees were able to update staff at the park on all the things Maria has put into place in Zimbabwe as a result of her visit. The day itself was very hot but despite that there were many visitors to the PDC stall and Sandra and Janet were delighted to introduce new people to the work of the project and to welcome back friends who visited last year.  Visitors much enjoyed the keeper’s excellent talk on the park’s 3 dogs and the problems facing the species in general, and the fact that visiting hours to the park were extended. At the end of a fantastic day, Sandra and Janet were presented with a cheque for £4,000 collected by Yorkshire Wildlife Park for Painted Dog Conservation!  This incredibly generous donation will be used to fund 2 schools with 45 pupils each to spend 4 days at the educational bush camp at the project, one month’s wages for the entire anti-poaching team and to buy five anti-snare collars to be fitted to the dogs themselves, saving their lives should they be caught in wire snares set for bush meat.  In this way, their donation will benefit every aspect of PDC’s work.  Needless to say, we are hugely grateful not only for the fantastic donation but for everything that YWP does to raise funds for and awareness of painted dogs throughout the year.  This is a great partnership, much appreciated by all at PDC/PDC UK.