Serengeti sees boost in wild dog numbers after fresh release


Visitors to the world famous Serengeti National Park can now hope to see more of the rare and elusive wild dogs, aka painted or hunting dogs, after another group of 11 captured in the Loliondo area adjoining the park a few months ago were finally released inside the park.

Once roaming the plains in their hundreds, the numbers have shrunk mainly due to rabies and other diseases, a phenomenon seen at the time across all of Eastern Africa.

In Tanzania did Vodacom earlier this year pledge nearly half a billion Tanzania Shillings – reported here at the time their commitment was announced – allowing TAWIRI, Tanzania National Parks and the Serengeti National Park administration to embark on the ambitious project to restore earlier populations and make the species’ survival more viable.

Four months ago a group of 15 of this endangered species were set free in the park and are now seen regularly by tourists, while still closely monitored by SENAPA staff.

The project to restore wild dogs in adequate numbers is carried out by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute in collaboration with their colleagues from TANAPA and SENAPA, supported by the Frankfurt Zoological Society which has been linked to the Serengeti since the days of Prof. Dr. Grzimek who immortalized the park in his books and films ‘Serengeti must not die’.

TAWIRI’s Director Dr. Mduma was welcoming President Kikwete to the park last weekend to witness the occasion, confirming that in addition to the Vodacom funding State House too had given a donation of 30 million Tanzania Shillings in line with a pledge made by the president at an earlier visit to the park.

Surely a Christmas present of sorts for the Serengeti National Park and a piece of good news happily reported here.

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