This conflict between people and wildlife stems from the Cape Leopard being one of the few predators at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat and its surrounding region in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa. As local human populations have grown, so too have the number of encounters and conflicts between the rare Cape Leopards, people, and their livestock.
This has led to an increase in instances of Cape Leopards attacking domestic livestock over the past several decades, risking not only depletion of essential domestic animal populations, but also significant, irrecoverable damage to economic and social well being of local communities.
As lovers of wildlife, we naturally want to preserve the Cape Leopard. But, for the farmers who raise the sheep that feeds and clothes the people who live there, they’re a major threat. While a situation like this might pit these sides against one another – as so often happens elsewhere in the world – TreadRight looked for a solution that might work for both.
Bushmans Kloof and TreadRight, working with neighbouring farmers, has led the way in finding and funding a natural, sustainable solution. Partnering with Cheetah Outreach to adopt and adapt community protection and predator management solutions, with the support of TreadRight, three Anatolian Shepherd dogs have come to Bushmans Kloof as livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) with more to follow.
The TreadRight Foundation is supporting the placement of the Anatolian Shepherds with local farmers, providing the cost of raising the dogs through their first year. The dogs are regularly monitored by Cheetah Outreach to oversee proper training and help ensure the dogs reach their full potential as an LGD. This keeps the Cape Leopard at bay so it hunts its natural prey rather than sheep, and eliminates their conflicts with farmers.