Poachers continue to plague the African wild dogs of Zimbabwe. The country suffers from severe inflation, so in an effort to survive and to earn extra income, many people lay snares for bush-meat, hoping to catch animals to either eat themselves or to sell for meat. Unfortunately, these snares don’t discriminate, and any animal can stumble into them. As African wild dogs, also called painted dogs, travel over 12 miles a day to hunt, they are simply more likely to run into traps and get caught. When they become entangled it can swiftly become fatal.
The Painted Dog Conservation’s (PDC) field team tracks down injured dogs; once an injured dog has been spotted, it needs to be treated as quickly as possible, with embedded snares removed and infections covered with antibiotic cream. Luckily, Painted Dog Conservation’s tracker Jealous Mpofu is an expert in finding even the most difficult dogs. Once Jealous finds a dog, it needs to be darted with an anesthetic so it can be safely examined. Wounds are cleaned and treated with a long-lasting antibiotic before the dog is released, and if possible, a radio collar will be attached. The radio collars are vital in tracking down injured dogs and monitoring the health of a pack.
PDC works hard to save every snared dog they can find. As African wild dogs are extremely endangered each rescued dog can go on to help produce the next generation and help grow the population.