VODACOM GETS PRESIDENTIAL PRAISE FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION EFFORTS
Even for a large corporation like Vodacom in Tanzania, is 450.000 US Dollars considered serious money and no wonder none other than President Jakaya Kikwete has offered his personal praise and appreciation to the companys CEO Rene Meza at State House Dar es Salaam last weekend.
I would like to express my appreciation to Vodacom for the support and relentless effort in this cause after learning that the funds have been given for a three year wild dogs, aka painted dogs or hunting dogs project.
Partners with Vodacom were TANAPA, NCCA, the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the Grumeti Fund and the Ngorongoro District Council who are all working hand in hand to boost numbers to ensure the survival of this ever rarer species. 11 groups are under the project being monitored, three within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and a further 8 in Loliondo, totaling to about 200 animals.
Decades ago the painted dogs, aka hunting dogs, numbered thousands in the wider Serengeti / Ngorongoro area, freely roaming with little chance to come across humans or their livestock, but they have been decimated in the past by poisoning as well as rabies, for which veterinarians of TANAPA are now providing treatment and inoculations. 11 wild dogs were released from protective custody recently, all wearing radio collars to ascertain their location and range.
The late Hugo von Lawick dedicated a photographic book on the species and regularly drove from his camp at Lake Ngutu into the Serengeti plains, seeking to follow the fast moving packs, but just as Hugo passed on years ago, so did many of the wild dog packs vanish from the plains.
Vodacoms CEO on the occasion was quoted to have assured President Kikwete of continued support towards the project beyond the current phase, to ensure the long term monitoring and conservation efforts by TANAPA. Well done indeed, good news to report.