The Painted Dog Conservation (PDC), situated close to Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, works with between 150-200 painted dogs within the Hwange’s ecosystem. Saving them is enormously challenging. Rangers patrol vast areas looking for snared animals. When they find one that has a chance of life, the creature is darted and taken to PDC headquarters where it is treated until it can be returned to the wild.
Every single month, the rangers find at least one snared painted dog. Usually, the painted dogs can be returned to the wild within two weeks, but sometimes the poor creatures are crippled and would quickly be killed by lions if they were to be released back into the wild, and so they become permanent residents at PDC.
A major problem is that, because of the country’s economic challenges and COVID-19 lockdown, it has become extremely difficult to afford some essential goods (like medicines and darts) to care for injured dogs.
There is no doubt that painted dogs need our help! The first thing that we need to do is supply vital medications to treat rescued painted dogs. We desperately need to raise $6,000 (£4,500) to pay for these supplies.
We know our supporters will do all they can to save this iconic species from extinction, but it is not enough to rescue painted dogs from a snare, only for the poor creature to be released and trapped again. To solve this problem, PDC has employed a team of people from local villages and has taught them about conservation and snare removal. The villagers scour the wilderness for snares, destroy them and use the salvaged wire to make wire ornaments they sell to tourists. It is a measure of the magnitude of the economic challenges in Zimbabwe that even this small income is incentive enough to destroy snares.