With support from the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund, Cheetah Handler and Keeper Bonnie Cameron is heading to South Africa for four weeks to work with Cheetah Outreach and help with the Anatolian Guard Dog Project.
Bonnie who is also trained as a Vet Nurse, will be spending her first three weeks at Cheetah Outreach in Cape Town assisting with Cheetah husbandry and enrichment.
“Working with the team at Cheetah Outreach will give me more knowledge about how other facilities care for Cheetah,” says Bonnie Cameron who is one of the Zoo’s Keepers that conducts Close Encounters with our two Cheetah brothers, Kunjuka and Cango.
“At Cheetah Outreach I will be helping with the daily husbandry needs and enrichment of Cheetah and possibly some other animals at the facility such as Meerkats and Caracals.”
Bonnie will spend her final week outside of Johannesburg working with the Cheetah Conservation Fund's livestock guarding dog programme. The Anatolian Guard Dog Project was launched in 2005 by De Wildt's Wild Cheetah Management Project and Cheetah Outreach. The programme was designed to reduce human-animal conflict for wild Cheetah in South Africa. The guard dogs are raised to live with livestock and will scare off any Cheetah or other predator that threaten the herd, so that farmers don’t need to kill Cheetahs.
“I will be out on farms learning how the Anatolian Guard Dog Project works and what goes into maintaining the care of the dogs once they are on their farms,” says Bonnie. “I’ll be able to offer my skills as an experienced Vet Nurse and Zoo Keeper to Cheetah Outreach and the Anatolian Guard Dog Project.”
Wellington Zoo sponsors two Anatolian Shepard dogs, Manaaki and Wellington. Bonnie will be visiting at least one of our sponsored dogs during her time with the Anatolian Guard Dog Project.
Bonnie adds, “This trip wouldn’t be possible without the help of Wellington Zoo’s Conservation Fund. I’m really looking forward to working with the teams at Cheetah Outreach and the Anatolian Guard Dog Project and sharing my knowledge with the rest of the Zoo and visitors.”
The Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund supports our conservation partners, and also gives our Zoo staff members the opportunity to lend their skills and take part in various conservation projects both locally and overseas.