Emma the Vet

Passionate about animal welfare

How conservation of painted wolves helps local communities

Wildlife Vets International provides veterinary expertise and support to conservation projects that are helping protect and save species like the African painted wolf.


The African painted wolf, or painted dog, has recently been highlighted as part of David Attenborough’s new landmark BBC ONE series “Dynasties”.  Their unique lifestyle and family structure have made them perfect TV viewing, but this extraordinary species is in serious jeopardy, with only a few thousand animals remaining in the wild.   As their territories shrink and they find themselves in closer contact with humans and their domestic dogs, infectious diseases such as rabies and distemper become a real threat to the already vulnerable painted wolf population.

The threat of rabies, to both domestic dogs and the wild painted wolf population is a constant concern and potentially devastating for both.   With numbers of painted wolves so low, just one outbreak can cause catastrophic consequences for this highly vulnerable species.

By donating during the BIG GIVE Christmas challenge, your donations will be DOUBLED and will help fund this vital vaccination and neutering programme that helps protect the vulnerable painted wolf AND the amazing local communities that call this part of Northern Zimbabwe home.

Hand to mouth existence is the norm in the community lands that border Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe.  Each family unit in this area will have some livestock and a guard dog.  The health of those animals is key to the people in this area’s survival.  If a guard dog gets rabies, this means not only the death of the dog, but also puts the local community in great danger of being bitten and suffering an agonising death.  Although rabies is easy to control through vaccination, it is impossible to treat once bitten.

To prevent an outbreak in the dog population, which in turn protects not only the people of this area, but also the vulnerable painted wolf packs that live close by, WVI supports a vaccination initiative run by Painted Dog Conservation, in conjunction with the local state veterinary team.  The health of the people and their domestic animals is key to the conservation of wild carnivores such as the African painted wolf.  Furthermore, by giving the community a service that they need, in the name of conservation, it changes their attitude to living alongside wildlife.

A win win situation all round.

Be part of the solution and donate now.

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All header photos copyright and courtesy of Paul Joynson-Hicks

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