Steve Leonard in Zimbabwe

I have just recently returned from a fantastic trip to this extraordinary country.   My first week was spent with a lovely group of wildlife enthusiasts all wishing to get up close and personal with the fantastic Painted Dogs.          As patron of Painted Dog Conservation UK, I was along to share my experiences with one of Africa's most endangered large carnivores (second only to the Ethiopian Wolf) and to inform a group of visitors about the amazing work done by PDC (Zimbabwe) in helping to preserve this beautiful animal and the local communities that live along side it. For the first few days we were joined by PDC founder, Dr Greg Rasmussen, who has recently left PDC to continue his research (forming the new Painted Dog Research Trust) and we were rewarded with fantastic dog encounters in the stunning Mana Pools. The rest of the trip was spent in the area of Hwange National Park, seeing the dogs there and the incredible work done by PDC to support them and the local communities around the centre. Our guests' last morning involved coming into one of the local villages to see a domestic dog vaccination clinic run in co-operation between PDC, the local government vet and Wildlife Vets International. Back to back neutering for me over 4 days saw six bitches spayed and 60 dogs castrated Over 840 dogs (and a couple of cats) were vaccinated against rabies. The dogs were also vaccinated against distemper, parvovirus and other lethal diseases – protecting them and the wildlife they come into contact with. A great effort once again by all involved.